Tororo health officials have warned of the increased deaths of expectant mothers and new born babies due to a stock out of mama kits in the medical facilities of the district.
The district has for the past one year acknowledged inconsistence in mama kit deliveries in all its health facilities by the National Medical Stores (NMS), something that has discouraged many mothers from accessing health facilities hence opting for traditional birth attendants.
Tororo main hospital ordinarily receives between 700 to 1000 expectant mothers a month some coming from as far as Kenya.
Today, as one enters the facility, silence is what welcomes you.
Doreen Ajok, a nursing officer at the hospital said since the facility began experiencing mama kit stock outs seven months ago, there has been a reduction in the number of expectant mothers visiting the facility.
They now receive at most 300 expectant mothers per month.
Ajok said due to inconsistence in supply of mama kits by the NMS, they have been forced to make it a requirement for mothers visiting the facility to come along with the kit or else they are denied medical services.
The absence of mama kits in hospitals has led many women to seek services of traditional birth attendants.
One of the most prominent birth attendants in Tororo is Jessica Nyaketcho who hails from Nawire village, Paya Sub County.
When we visited her, we found a 26 year old expectant mother, a one Juliet Alwenyi patiently waiting for her services.
After a while, Nyaketcho came out of the house and the two left for this hut, where services are done.
After 30 minutes, Nyaketcho was done with the massage work as Alwenyi waited to give birth.
Alwenyi said her failure to afford mama kit demanded by the health workers forced her to seek services of Nyaketcho.
Nyaketcho said in one month, she receives between 10 to 12 mothers coming in for her services.
Medics and district leaders however, expressed mixed feelings about Nyaketcho’s work.
Some believe it’s most likely to lead to an increase in the deaths of expectant mothers and new born babies.
The leaders urged government to at least consider issuing mama kits to avoid this scenario.
Tororo district chief administrative officer, Dawson Balaba, confirmed the shortage arguing that his office is working tirelessly towards solving it.