White Ribbon Alliance Embarks on Collection of 2 Million Signatures

1669 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Sebugwawo claims that 17 mothers die daily due to poor health services, lack health care and obstructed labor especially in upcountry areas. He cites Kamwezi Sub County in Kamwenge district, where women travel 70km to reach a health center.

White Ribbon Alliance, a nongovernmental organization involved in promoting safe motherhood has embarked on the collection of 2 million signatures to petition parliament to increase funds for safe motherhood in the 2013/2014 financial year. David Sebugwawo, the program officer White Ribbon Alliance says the increasing rate of maternal and child mortality in the country is worrying. Sebugwawo claims that 17 mothers die daily due to poor health services, lack health care and obstructed labor especially in upcountry areas.

He cites Kamwezi Sub County in Kamwenge district, where women travel 70km to reach a health center. He says most of the mothers end up dying on the way as a result of prolonged labor while many are unattended to by unqualified personnel. Sebugwawo says several other mothers shy away from health centers due to the various labor requirements  He says once they have collected the 2 million signatures, they will petition the speaker to ensure that government increases the health budget and in particular the safe motherhood funding. 

Sarah Bitenyi, the coordinator White Ribbon Alliance says they have already handed a copy of the petition to the minister of health as they lobby some parliamentarians to sign it. She says since Uganda signed a commitment to increase budget for comprehensive care for newly born babies and expectant mothers from 15% to 50% by the year 2015, it is high time the country starts working towards the target.  Currently, government is still grappling with the payment and recruitment of health workers to reduce on the Doctor patient ratio, which is still very high.