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Dr. Wondimagegnehu Alemu accompanied by the Country Advisor in World Health Organization, Dr. Andrew Bakainaga visited Mrs. Janet Museveni at her Karamoja Ministerial Offices in Kampala on Wednesday 12th March 2014.
The WHO representative appreciated the role Janet Museveni has played in various health interventions and called on her to continue advocating for maternal health, immunization, and elimination of Mother to Child transmission of HIV/AIDS in the country and most especially in Karamoja.
He committed WHO’s support to the forthcoming campaign in West Nile and to the process of involving the private sector in EMTCT plus their continued support to Uganda in all areas of health.
First Lady Janet Museveni appreciated the role of World Health Organization in Uganda and appreciated the commitment made by the Country Representative to support the eMTCT launch in West Nile and additional support towards Karamoja and other areas in Uganda.
Regarding maternal health, Janet Museveni wondered why Uganda is not achieving the desired results towards the reduction of the maternal mortality ratio by three quarters as per the Millennium Development Goals for 2015 in spite of the many interventions going on in the country.
She observed loopholes in the health system including lack of resident doctors at most Health Centres as some of reasons of not achieving the maternal mortality reduction.
According to the new WHO report, titled “Countdown to 2015: maternal, newborn, and child survival,” released at the Women Deliver global conference in Malaysia June 2013, though maternal mortality rates the world over have nearly halved since 1990, mortality rates are still 15 times higher in developing regions, such as Uganda, than in developed nations.
Maternal deaths in Uganda have been reducing at a rate of 5.1 percent every year over the last ten years from 600 in 1990 to 530 in 2000 and by 2010 it was at 310. About 800 women die every day due to complications of pregnancy and childbirth.
The WHO representative highlighted the various countries in the region that have been able to reduce maternal mortality and committed to support Uganda undertake visits to these countries to benchmark how reduction in maternal mortality has been achieved.
The meeting also attended by OAFLA-Uganda’s Executive Director Beatilda Bisangwa discussed support to improving the alarming reduction of immunization rates in Karamoja among other issues.