Uganda Fails to Hit Target on Antenatal Care


In short
However, according to Mbonye, there is a 14 percent improvement in the number of mothers who deliver in health facilities.

Uganda has failed to meet its target to increase the number of expectant mothers attending antenatal health care services to 60 percent.

Professor Anthony Mbonye, the Commissioner for Health Services says only 37 percent of expectant mothers in the country attended antenatal care services in the 2014/2015 financial year.

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This is an improvement of only percent since the financial year 2010/2011 and 2014/2015. However, according to Mbonye, there is a 14 percent improvement in the number of mothers who deliver in health facilities.

However, Uganda has hit the target of increasing the percentage of children immunized by over percent. Other areas where the country has made significant progress include increasing the number of children exposed to HIV from their mothers accessing HIV testing within 12 months. 

TB treatment success rates have also increased from percent in 2010/11 to percent in 2014/2015. Prof. Mbonye attributes the slow progress in key health sector indicators to funding gaps and limited human resource at health facilities.

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Health Minister Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye says government is in the process of strengthening the capacity of district health educators to sensitise the public about good health practices.

He says government plans to set aside Shillings 4.7 billion for the purchase of motorcycles and bicycles for district health educators and inspectors to ease their movement.

Tumwesigye notes that with the national identification system, there will be better record management as issues such as double recording will be avoided.

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He says that government will starting next year recruit community health extension workers to conduct home outreaches, screen minor illnesses and help monitor expectant mothers to go for antenatal sessions.

This is expected to improve on the health indicators, where Uganda is not performing well. The Minister disclosed this at the health sector performance review meeting at Speke Resort Munyonyo.



About the author

Beatrice Nyangoma
Beatrice Nyangoma values her independence as a journalist. This was one of her major considerations before she became a URN staffer in 2015.

Nyangoma says, "I like URN because it gives me room to decide what stories I want to work on. That is so important to me."

The URN Jinja bureau chief since July 2016, Nyangoma considers health matters a beat close to her heart. One of the highlights of her career so far were her exclusive interviews unveiling the rot in Mulago hospital in early 2016.

Nyangoma started out writing for the Red Pepper newspaper in 2011 in her final year of university. She was majorly a health reporter. In 2012, Nyangoma moved to Top Television as a health, business reporter and weekend news editor. She was also the assistant editorial manager of Kabarole Research and Resource Centre FM (KRC FM).