Neonatal conditions leading cause of health facility deaths at 10.3%

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Neonatal conditions are now the leading cause of health facility deaths among all ages accounting for 10.3%; followed by malaria at 7.4%.

In a report released by the Ministry of Health, prematurity is the single most underlying cause of neonatal deaths at 29.5% followed by neonatal sepsis at 16.1%. According to experts, there is a need to equip all NICUs in hospitals and HC IVs and train health workers in pre-term care.

In the annual health sector performance report by the ministry of health, Uganda’s health sector has managed to achieve 17 out of the 32 indicators stipulated in the NDP III. This is for the year under review, 2021/2022.

The met target, accounts for 53% of the outcome indicators compared to 40.6% in FY 2020/21. In the year under review, it’s indicated that neonatal conditions are now the leading cause of health facility deaths among all ages accounting for 10.3%.

According to experts, the management of premature babies requires timely and specialized care which can be provided in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units and other interventions like the Kangaroo Mother Care, however; in Uganda, many areas still lack such services.

In the same report, malaria is the second leading cause of death accounting for 7.4% in health facilities, pneumonia at 5.3%, anaemia 3.9%, and road traffic injuries due to motorcycles and vehicles at 2.3%.

Uganda’s health budget, has for long oscillated between 6 and 8% of the country’s national cake with many questioning the different declarations made on behalf of the country for health financing equivalent to 15%.

In the year under review, in nominal terms, the health sector budget increased by 19% from UGX 2,788 billion in the financial year 2020/2021 to UGX 3,331 billion in the financial year 2021/2022 compared to 8% of the previous year. This was majorly attributed to additional allocations for interventions related to the covid19 pandemic response.

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