Human Rights Based Approach May Alleviate Maternal Deaths - Experts

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In short
Uganda loses 16 women everyday due to pregnancy related complications, with most of them occurring because women are not supported to have healthy planned pregnancies, experts say.

Uganda loses 16 women everyday due to pregnancy related complications, with most of them occurring because women are not supported to have healthy planned pregnancies, experts say.

While launching a new programme Thursday, on integrating human rights based approach into maternal health care, representatives from the Population Secretariat and the Family Health Development argued that the project will help alleviate some of the maternal deaths through promotion of basic human rights.

The Human Rights Based Approach upholds the principles of transparency, accountability, participation and non-discrimination, at the same time providing a system through which to hold governments accountable and expose human rights violations.

According to The Family Health Population Advisor Dr. Olive Sentambwa, loss of life can be prevented during pregnancy and child birth, but sometimes policy decisions discriminate against women and fail to address related maternity complications.

She noted that a rights based approach will help in addressing this problem.

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The project underscores that maternal deaths can be greatly reduced if underlying socio- economic factors that cause these deaths are addressed, in addition to ensuring that women enjoy a range of human rights including right to health.

It comes at a time, when the 2012 demographic survey on maternal deaths indicates that 438 per 100,000, while infant mortality rates stands at 54 deaths in every 1000 new borns. Other leading causes of maternal deaths include: severe bleeding, infections, unsafe abortions, hypertensive disorders and obstructed labor.

But as Jotham Musinguzi, Regional Director of Partners in Population and Development – Africa, explained these causes coupled with socio – cultural factors including teenage pregnancies, sexual violence, and female genital mutilation makes maternal health a more crucial matter.

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During the forum, the media was urged to be pro-active in advocating for health rights include; fighting gender based violence and discrimination as key to enjoyment of human rights.

In her presentation Dr. Betty Kyandoddo Director of Family Health Development (FHD) demonstrated that using a Human Rights Bases Approach will mean that both the duty bearers and right holders work together to create a balance in the enjoyment of these rights.