By WRA Uganda
Kampala, Uganda- The White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood (WRA) Uganda has organized a youth concert with the theme: “Youth for Safe Motherhood- A New Beginning” to raise awareness and encourage youth and other stakeholders to play their part to save the lives of girls and women dying needlessly in pregnancy and childbirth.
Leading Ugandan musicians, as well as up-and-coming performers and young people from Kampala and the surrounding areas will unite at Makerere University, Freedom Square on Saturday, 26th March, 2011 beginning at 3:00PM to call for a new beginning for maternal health.
16 women die every day in Uganda due to complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. Uganda has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in sub-Saharan Africa, with half of its girls giving birth before the age of 18. The statistics are dreadful, but there is hope because most of these deaths are preventable. The trouble is that only 42% of births are assisted by a skilled health provider and 63% of women in rural areas give birth at home (UDHS, 2006). Furthermore, Uganda has a shortage of 2,000 midwives, the very people who could help to save women’s lives by providing essential care during pregnancy and childbirth.
This special event is free and open to the public. Bobi Wine, Hillary Musiima, Navio, Lillian Mbabazi, Michael Ross, Pablo and other artists are taking a stand and lending their voices and talents to this important cause. As Bobi Wine has said, “It’s our responsibility to take the messages to the masses. If men, the community, the leaders and everybody get involved, we can make a difference.” Hillary Musiima echoes this responsibility, producing maternal health advocacy music for the WRA that will be launched during the concert.
While making noise and raising awareness for safe motherhood, the youth will also deliver a collective statement to the Commissioner of Youth.
“Our generation will not tolerate girls and women dying during pregnancy and childbirth. Change starts now! We will play our part to prevent unwanted pregnancies, to raise awareness in our communities and to encourage the girls and women to seek for skilled birth attendance.”
This message will also call upon the government of Uganda to ensure that every pregnant woman has access to skilled birth attendance; to fill the gap of 2,000 midwives and ensure that health workers have the necessary supplies and equipment to provide essential care for women during pregnancy and childbirth; and to increase financial resources for health from current 9% of the National Budget to 15% as committed in the Abuja Declaration.
This event will raise awareness and support for maternal health, with the hope that the energy and political will of the youth’s generation will create a new beginning for Uganda’s women and its future—one in which women no longer have to risk death to give birth. Please join us in taking a stand for girls and women.