Women members of parliament are demanding that health officials implicated in the death of an expectant mother at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital be charged with murder. It follows the arrest of six doctors in connection to the death of Cecilia Nambozo, a teacher at Busamaga Primary School during labor. They are Dr Mercy Nassali, Dr Darmascus Kagga Ssenyonga, Dr Michael Emusugut and Dr Moses Muwanguzi and sister Margaret Kakai, the in charge of the nursing ward.
It is alleged that Nambozo died in labor after she was left unattended too by the health officials because she failed to pay 300,000 shillings at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital. Nambozo failed to push the baby who was weighing 5.2 KG rupturing her uterus. Now, women MPs under the Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) want the implicated health workers charged with murder. They argue that the health deliberately led to the death of Nambozo when they refused to attend to her.
Betty Among, UWOPA Chairperson wants the implicated health officials dismissed from the health service. They also plan to sign a petition recalling members of the social service committee of parliament recalled from recess to handle the matter immediately. Among says that they want health minister Christine Odoa and medical superintendent of Mbale Regional Hospital to appear before the committee to explain the behavior of the medical workers.
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Silvia Senabulya Namabidde, Mityana Woman MP is perturbed how a woman close to a referral hospital can die 14hours after her arrival without being attended too. She calls for introduction of a law to audit maternal deaths. Namabidde warns that if government fails to bring the bill, the women Mps will present a private members bill to the house for debate.
She says a maternal death audit act would help in explaining why many women lose their lives at child birth.
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Emma Bona, Mbarara Municipality Woman MP and Rosemary Nakikongoro, MP Sheema constituency say the act by doctors to demand for 300,000 shillings was a clear sign of corruption. They argue that several women resort to traditional birth attendants because of the harassment they get at government health facilities. They are all demanding for appropriate action against all those implicated in the death of Namboozo.
Statistics show that 16 women die in Uganda each day as a result of pregnancy and child birth related complications. The maternal mortality rate remain at 435 deaths per every 100, 000 live births. Women activists are already pursuing a case at the Constitutional Court against the government on preventable maternal deaths and the right to health.
The petition states that government’s failure to provide essential medical commodities and health services to pregnant women is a violation of the constitutional rights of Ugandans. The matter is still ongoing.