Several expectant mothers in Oyam District have accused health workers of turning them away from health centres when they come for maternity services without mama kits. This, according to the expectant mothers, has made them shun health facilities. A mama kit contains everything needed to provide a clean and safe delivery.
Mothers revealed that they now seek solace from the traditional birth attendants who help them in giving birth even when they do not have mama kits.
Ms Stella Okello, a mother of five, who is expecting her sixth child, said she has been delivering with the help of untrained village traditional birth attendants, who are also ill equipped.
“Whenever you get to a health facility without mama kits, you are either turned away or insulted. For fear of such insults, many of us prefer to give birth in the villages with the help of traditional birth attendants or the elderly person in villages who have ideas,” Ms Okello said.
Ms Vicky Akello, a midwife at Aber Health Centre II, said at times they run out of mama kits due to the overwhelming numbers of the expectant mothers. “When we are having a shortage of delivery kits, definitely the mothers are left with no option but to buy for themselves,” Ms Akello said.
Claims deniedShe, however, denied the allegations that mothers are turned away from the health facilities, adding that when a mother cannot afford to have the basics such as gloves and cotton wool, they are referred to health facility that has supplies.
At Aber health centre , Ms Akello said she assists at least two mothers to deliver daily despite the many challenges such as inadequate delivery beds.
Global Health Network Uganda’s Monitoring and Evaluation Officer Patricia Awor, said under their integrated child and maternal health project, expectant mothers in Oyam would be provided with mama kits. The organisation hopes that when expectant mothers deliver from health facilities, maternal mortality and child mortality will be reduced.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor