Declining maternal mortality ratio in Uganda: priority interventions to achieve the Millennium Development Goal
John Bosco, Asiimwe
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Purpose: We conducted a survey to determine availability of emergency obstetric care (EmOC) and to provide data for advocating for improved maternal and newborn health in Uganda. Methods: The survey, covering 54 districts and 553 health facilities, assessed availability of EmOC signal functions, documented maternal deaths and the related causes. Three levels of health were covered. Findings: Few health units had running water; electricity or a functional operating theater. Yet having these items had a protective effect on maternal deaths as follows: theater (OR 0.56, P b 0.0001); electricity (OR 0.39, P b 0.0001); laboratory (OR 0.71, P b 0.0001) and staffing levels (midwives) OR 0.20, P b 0.0001. The availability of midwives had the highest protective effect on maternal deaths, reducing the case fatality rate by 80%. Further, most (97.2%) health facilities expected to offer basic EmOC, were not doing so. This is the likely explanation for the high health facility-based maternal death rate of 671/100,000 live births in Uganda. Conclusion: Addressing health system issues, especially human resources, and increasing access to EmOC could reduce maternal mortality in Uganda and enable the country to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG).
- School of Medicine