Friday, December 13, 2013

LIRA COMMUNITY MEMBERS PETITION THE DISTRICT COUNCIL OVER LOW LEVEL OF EMERGENCY HEALTH CARE SERVICES FOR PREGNANT WOMEN

Patrick Ogwang
WRA Uganda (WRA Lira District Media Coordinator)

Tommy Ojan Egits presenting the petition at Amach Sub-county headquarters 
during  Lira District World AIDS  Day commemoration 
White Ribbon alliance Lira in collaboration with residents from the two sub county of Ogur and Amach petitioned Lira District Local Government to allocate a budget in the financial year 2014-2015 to support Emergency obstetric and newborn care services at health center s III and IV. The petition signed by over 1000 community members was presented to the District Council through the District Speaker.
While handing over the petition to the district leaders at the commemoration of World Aids Day district event at Amach sub county headquarter, Tommy Ojan Egit who is a WRA Lira member and newly elected representative at the WRA Uganda board said that the petition followed an assessment by White Ribbon Alliance, leaders and community members carried out in all the health facilities at level of III and IV in Lira with the indicator that none of the two HC IVs is able to provide comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care services due to theater functionality issues.
Ojan further stressed that shortage of running water, power and non-functional theaters at Ogur and Amach HC IVs, stock-outs of injectable drugs for basic obstetric complications, inadequate resuscitation devices, lack of blood pressure machines and incomplete delivery instruments among others has put the lives of pregnant women and their newborns at risk since most of them are referred to the main regional referral hospital which is far away from them.
Tommy Ojan Egits handing-over EmONC petition to Lira District 
Vice Chairperson at Amach Sub-county headquarters
“The petition requested the district officials to allocate sufficient funds for emergency care services in the financial year 2014-2015 in an attempt to reduce the death rate of women in childbirth. The White Ribbon Alliance is not an NGO but Alliance whose aims are to advocate for safe motherhood.” Said Tommy

Mr. Andrew Ogwang Oyang the District Vice Chairman and the leader of government while receiving the petition on behalf of the District Speaker and the council thanked The White Ribbon Alliance for their effort of carrying out an assessment saying it has helped a lot the district to get documented information for planning. The Chairperson promised to handle the petition with urgency it deserves so that the issues raised are considered in the district budget.
Subsequently, on 6th December 2013, The White Ribbon Alliance members held a meeting with the members of the district committee for health and education to further advocate for prioritization of emergency obstetric care services in the district budget. Mr. Moses Ogwang Adonyo the Chairperson of health and education committee said that his committee will make sure the report findings are brought to council for further scrutiny and approval so that a budget is allocated in the financial year 2014-2015.

WRA Lira and community members march during World AIDS Day commemoration
event at Amach Sub-county headquarters, Lira 
district before presenting their petition
The petition is part of a series of activities under the accountability campaign code named ACT NOW TO SAVE MOTHERS coordinated by The White Ribbon Alliance Uganda in three districts of Lira, Mityana and Kabale aimed at asking Government of Uganda to uphold its commitment of increasing comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care in all health centres IV from 17% to 50% and ensuring that basic  emergency obstetric and newborn care is available in all health centres before its target timeline of 2015. #ActNowToSaveMothers


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