By Melanie Atwebembeire
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has donated reproductive health commodities and equipment worth $ 4 million to the ministry of Health.
The items were officially handed over by UNFPA representative in Uganda Alain Sibenaler to the Minister of state for Health Joyce Kaducu on Tuesday at the Joint Medical Store.
The equipment included labour and delivery beds, blood refrigerators, Emergency Reproductive Health ( ERH) kits as well as drugs like exotoxins meant to stop bleeding in pregnant women.
These are to be distributed to for health centers in the districts of Adjuman, Arua, Abongi and Kyegegwa.
According to Alain Sibenaler, it is UNFPA’s commitment to save the lives of mothers and their babies in Uganda.
Sibenaler said: ” UNFPA wants to ensure that every mother in Uganda enjoys her right to access, availability, affordability and acceptability with quality care”.
Alain revealed that UNFPA is set to support the Ministry of Health towards its efforts to provide reproductive health services to women in Uganda.
“We are committed to delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled,” Sibenaler said.
Kaducu said the equipment will help reduce maternal deaths in Uganda which is the Ministry of Health’s major target.
“We have been with a challenge to save our pregnant mothers, this is majorly caused by over bleeding, the refrigerators donated to us will help store blood for our pregnant mothers and sickle cell patients”, She narrates.
The minister also warned health workers against the practice of selling blood.
“Do not charge anyone for blood, give it for free because blood is willingly donated by Ugandans”, Kaducu warned.
Uganda’s maternal mortality rate has consistently been one of the highest in the world with over 440 deaths per 100,000 live births according to United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund ( UNICEF).
Kaducu said most of the deaths and maternal complications are as a result of over bleeding which she says will be reduced with the donated blood storage equipment.
The items will be transferred from Joint Medical Store(JMS) to National Medical Stores.