In a recent report, it has been revealed that Uganda has experienced significant advancements in reducing maternal mortality rates over the years. The maternal mortality rate has seen a steady decline, dropping from 523 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 1991 to 336 per 100,000 live births in 2016, and further decreasing to 189 per 100,000 live births.
According to Dr. Richard Mugahi, the Assistant Commissioner of the Ministry of Health for Reproductive Health, at least 91 percent of deliveries in Uganda are currently taking place in health facilities under the care of skilled birth attendants. This marks a substantial increase from 74 percent in 2016. Dr. Mugahi conveyed these statistics during a media training event on safe motherhood held at the Sheraton Hotel on October 18, 2023.
These developments are supported by the findings of the Uganda Demographic Health Survey of 2023, which underscores the progress made in reducing maternal mortality rates. The State Minister for Primary Healthcare, Margaret Muhanga, extended her appreciation to the skilled birth attendants for their vital contributions to the reduction of maternal mortality rates. She commended their dedication and hard work in achieving these positive outcomes.
Speaking at a media breakfast meeting leading up to the 3rd National Safe Motherhood conference scheduled from October 23rd to 25th at Speke Resort Munyonyo, Minister Muhanga reaffirmed the government’s commitment to further reducing maternal and neonatal mortality. She stated, “We remain committed to working even harder in the coming years to ensure that no mother and newborn die due to preventable causes.”
Dr. Mugahi emphasized the government’s dedication to improving health centers to enhance accessibility for the population. The government’s focus includes upgrading lower-level health facilities to ensure they have an adequate number of personnel and sufficient supplies to provide quality care.
It is worth noting that the Sustainable Development Goals have set specific targets for reducing maternal mortality rates to 70 per 100,000 live births and neonatal mortality rates to 12 per 1,000 live births. Uganda’s progress in increasing skilled birth attendance is a positive step toward achieving these global goals.