Members of Parliament champion life-saving commodities in Uganda

Members of Parliament champion life-saving commodities in Uganda
A pregnant woman with during a visit outside Karambi mosque after been vaccinated, Uganda, 2013. ©UNICEF/Sibiloni

Fifty three Members of Parliament (MPs) in Uganda signed up as champions to increase awareness among their constituents on the importance of life-saving commodities.

As part of the RMNCH Fund financed advocacy efforts, the Ugandan Ministry of Health, in partnership with the coalition for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (RMNCH) met with 70 Members of Parliament (MPs) in November 2014 to enrol their support in increasing access to and demand for life-saving commodities in Uganda.

“There is negligence on the side of the health workers, especially midwives who send women who have just given birth home immediately after they have delivered their baby without proper explanation about how to care for the cord,” said Hon. Amurat  Odoi, MP, pointing to the need for increased health worker performance. She underscored the importance of awareness raising, saying that “mothers do not know how to care for the umbilical cord which is the reason for sepsis that has claimed many children in the communities”.

Hon. Lucy Mary highlighted supply issue, and the Government’s limitation in providing the necessary life-saving medicines at all facilities in the country. “Health services are being frustrated by the government through its failure to fulfil its mandate of providing adequate health facilities that are well stocked with medicine and health personnel,” she said.

The MPs pledged to lobby for increased resources allocation towards life-saving commodities in the country. They also suggested that there should be budget monitoring to assist in the efficient utilization of resources that are allocated to the health sector, and called for research into health proceedings at a local (district) level to enable the legislators to make guided decisions and fair allocation of resources to cover the sectors of reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health that require the most urgent attention.

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