The state minister for Primary Health Care Dr Moriku Joyce Kaducu has said that there has been a 30% increase in maternal deaths around the country.
Kaducu 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 Centre on Tuesday, Kaducu 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,” Kaducu said.
She 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 and 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,” she said.
Kaducu 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.
She said that according to a 2016 survey, there was a reduction in maternal mortality from 448/100,000 live births to 336/100,000 live births.
Kaducu 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%,” Kaducu said.
She said government is ending preventable maternal deaths by recruiting more skilled health professional in lower health facilities and hospital.