As Uganda joined the rest of the world to celebrate the international day of the midwife, nurses at Kabale Regional Referral Hospital have raised concerns over the increased influx of pregnant mothers to the facility.
Annet Nayiga, a senior nursing officer, who’s also the in-charge of the maternity ward at Kabale Hospital during their celebrations at the Hospital, said they are overwhelmed by the pregnant mothers, especially those referred from lower health units.
“We are always overwhelmed by the numbers of pregnant mothers yet we are understaffed. Despite that we try our best, because of the team work and handle them” Nayiga said.
The hospital has twenty senior midwives instead of thirty, and thirty-seven enrolled midwives instead of 47.
Kabale Regional Referral hospital handles the Districts of Rubanda, Kisoro, Rukiga, Kanungu, and Rukungiri.
Nayiga revealed that because of coronavirus lockdown, pregnant mothers walk for long distances for antenatal care to the hospital, while others deliver before they reach health centers and end up with other complications.
“Because of transport problems, some mothers reach here when they are tired with other complications and to some unfortunately, they arrive when their babies are already dead” Nayiga said.
She called on government to increase the numbers of health workers in hospitals and health centers, saying the scheme used to deploy them was for long ago. She said the population of people had increased, and therefore the deployment of midwives should be increased in health centers.
Nayiga said low deployment of midwives especially in lower health centers increases the influx of pregnant mothers at the referral hospital, which compromises the quality of services they should offer as required.
Nayiga also raised a concern of inadequate medical supplies, saying most pregnant mothers are referred to private clinics to buy drugs, which affects their service delivery.
Each year the International Day of the Midwife is marked in recognition and celebration of the work of midwives all across the globe.
Midwives, women, partners, stakeholders, and supporters of midwives come together to thank them and to raise awareness about the status of midwives and the essential care they provide to mothers and their newborns.
The theme for ICM 2020 is Midwives with women: celebrate, demonstrate, mobilise, unite – our time is NOW!