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November 27, 2022
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Health National

Maternal deaths increased by 30% in lockdown – Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health has confirmed a 30 per cent increment in the maternal deaths around the country during the state of Lockdown, State Minister for Primary Health Care Dr Moriku Joyce Kaducu has said.

Dr Moriku said the spike in Maternal deaths was driven by an increase in teenage pregnancies during the COVID-19 lockdown.

While giving an update on the status of maternal health in the country at the Uganda Media Center on Tuesday, Moriku said that teenage mothers contributed approximately 18% of all maternal death cases in the country over the past one year.

“Approximately 36% of maternal deaths occurred among young mothers, who are 24 years of age and below, who should have been in school,” Moriku said.

She added: “Teenage pregnancy is still high at 25% national average but in some regions, we have 30% and this has even worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Moriku said that the most direct causes of maternal injury and death remain excessive blood loss during Child Birth, High blood pressure during and after pregnancy, plus Unsafe abortion, especially among young women, which contributed 22% of all deaths.

“There has also been causes of obstructed labour leading to rupture of the uterus, other indirect causes such as anaemia, malaria and heart disease among others,” Moriku added.

Moriku said that Maternal and Child Health (MCH) is a key indicator for measuring the development of any nation, including Uganda and there is need to address on this problem of the country is to prosper.

Moriku said that according to a recent UDHS survey that was carried out in 2016, there was a reduction in maternal mortality from 448/100,000 Live Births to 336/100,000 Live Births.

The minister said that an updated survey will be done this year, and they hope to have better results.

Maternal Health is the health of women from the time of conception, through pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period (6 weeks after childbirth)

Minister Moriku said that government has made some progress in order to improve the Maternal and Newborn Health Indicators through improved access to Maternal Health Services, especially in rural areas where they have upgraded more than 300 health centre IIS to Health Centre Ills.

“Because of these interventions, we have now registered Improvement in the number of women attending the first Antenatal Care to 95% but those completing at least (04) Antenatal Visits remains low at 42%,” Moriku said.

She added that government is ending preventable maternal deaths by recruiting more skilled health professional in lower health facilities and hospital.

” Government also provides a supportive environment for the staff by investing in infrastructural development,” Moriku.

Moriku however said that reducing maternal deaths should not only be left for government but every one from the private sector health players, media and families should speak one language and help government efforts.

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