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UNFPA hands over midwifery kits to promote maternal health in hard- to- reach areas

15 March 2018
UNFPA representative Mr Alain Sibenaler congratulates one of the recipients of the midwifery equipment as H.E Ambassador Per Lingarde looks on

In a bid to promote improved access to maternal health services UNFPA Uganda has handed over an assortment of midwifery kits to 20 midwives, to enable them conduct safe, clean deliveries.

At an event presided over by UNFPA Uganda Representative Mr. Alain Sibenaler and the Ambassador of Sweden to Uganda, His Excellency Per Lindgarde, the midwives under their umbrella organisation the Uganda Private Midwives Association (UPMA) received the kits that included maternal and neonatal resuscitation bags, infant resuscitation bags, maternal stethoscopes and suturing kits.

In his remarks, Mr. Sibenaler appreciated the work of midwives in ensuring that increasingly, fewer Ugandan mothers die while giving birth. “Seven out of ten women now deliver with assistance from a skilled birth attendant, usually a midwife,” he said.   “It is no wonder then that the 2016 UDHS shows that we have reduced maternal mortality from 438 deaths per 100,000 live births to 336 deaths per 100,000 live births between 2011 and 2016.”

The 20 beneficiary midwives were drawn from the districts of Katakwi, Amuria, Lira, Soroti, Kaberamaido, Kumi, Arua, Serere and Pallisa. Their selection follows an assessment in the Karamoja and northern regions Uganda to identify clinics and maternity homes operated by private midwives that could be equipped to expand the delivery of reproductive health and maternal services in hard to reach areas.  The assessment was conducted by UPMA, supported by UNFPA and the Ministry of Health

Mr. Sibenaler noted that investing in midwifery is the right investment and expressed his gratitude to the government of Sweden that has over the years provided support to UNFPA Uganda   and the Ministry of Health to train and equip midwives.  He urged the midwives to provide a package of quality maternal health services, including family planning, basic emergency obstetric care, timely referrals and HIV prevention. 

His Excellency Per Lindgarde noted that midwives go beyond saving lives of mothers and new-borns. Midwives, he noted, empower women and men by educating them about sexual and reproductive health and rights including access to modern family planning which he emphasised is key in preventing teenage pregnancy and unsafe abortions and reducing maternal mortality.  He also lauded the partnership with UNFPA Uganda through which the Swedish government has been able to support midwives in Uganda.

 

By Martha Songa