Uganda’s Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has encouraged men to take centre stage in their respective communities to support expectant mothers in the fight to mitigate premature child births.
She said that there is a need for fathers to support each other, assume responsibility where it is necessary in providing a support system for expectant women.
“We appeal to the church through its unions and other community establishments to encourage men to be protective and responsible for expectant mothers,” she added.
Kadaga made these remarks while speaking at the celebrations of the World Prematurity Day on Tuesday, 17 November 2020 in Kamuli district.
The Speaker said that there is also need to train medical personnel in handling patients with special needs because the mute and deaf patients who in this case, may be expectant mothers, find trouble communicating their issues to medical workers at the health centres.
The Minister of State for Primary Healthcare, Dr Joyce Moriku reiterated the significance of the Speaker in using her position to support the activities of the Ministry of Health especially in improving maternal healthcare.
Moriku said that the country is celebrating strides taken towards providing a robust healthcare system for prematurely born babies. However, she revealed that there are 27 newborn babies die out of the 1,000 born of which premature births account for 25 per cent of the 27.
She added that 226,000 children are born prematurely in Uganda and are faced with a number of complications which may affect their growth and full development.
The minister said that one of the ways of averting the issue is to encourage expectant mothers to attend antenatal care to be able to spot potential health issues that might put one at risk of premature delivery.
Minister Moriku appreciated the Speaker for spear-heading the approval of a World Bank loan that is being utilised to improve maternal healthcare with 19 health facilities with Kamuli district benefiting. The project will also include the construction of neonatal intensive care units in hospitals across the country.