Saturday, November 23, 2013

Unreliable Referral System Make Poor Women Shun Delivering From Health Facilities

Compiled by Senfuka Samuel

A patient being transported to a health centre using an improved "Engozi"
This is a community ambulance commonly used in the mountainous Kabale district, south western Uganda to transport patients and pregnant mothers to health facilities. It's an improved "Engozi" (a locally made stretcher), which has been traditionally used to transport sick community members through a community support system. It is now a push and pull ambulance unlike the stretcher where they have to get energetic men to lift the patient or a pregnant woman through the steep slope terrain to a health centre. On the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe motherhood (WRA Uganda) mission of health facility assessment of EmONC in Kabale district, we came across this on the way to Ikumba health centre III and the patient was being taken to  Hamurwa health centre IV, Rubanda East which was still about 16 KM away!

This makes the referral of pregnant women with complications and other patients a huge challenge to healthcare providers and a burden to the poor families hence women end up delivering from home or with assistance of traditional birth attendants because they can not afford referral costs. The situation is worsened by poor birth preparedness.

Join the Act Now To Save Mothers Advocacy Campaign by ASKING the Government of Uganda to uphold its commitment of increasing comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care (Cesarean sections and blood transfusion) to 50% in health centres IV and basic emergency obstetric and newborn care (treatment of hemorrhage, infections/sepsis, eclampsia, newborn resuscitation) in all health centres by 2015.

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