Assessing Maternal and Reproductive Health in Ntungamo District, South Western Uganda

11 Apr. 2011

A newly constructed maternity centre

While touring parts of Ntungamo District in South western Uganda, as part of a needs assessment in maternal and reproductive health in the District, members of the newly formed Action for Reproductive Health (ARH), lead by the Executive Director, Mrs. Francoise Riisa Kauzya, visited Nyabushenyi Health Centre. The AHR donated critical medical instruments including delivery kits, BP machines, sterilizer and sterilizer drums.

Nyabushenyi Health Centre is lucky in one respect. The District authorities have recently completed a fairly modern building housing the centre (see picture). However, the district health authorities confess that despite the completion of the building Nyabushenyi Health Centre faces numerous challenges and obstacles that obstruct the delivery of maternal and reproductive health services to its catchment community. The Centre serves an area with a radius of 20 – 15 miles which is very hilly and with few roads and no public transportation at all. While men help by taking their wives to clinics on bicycles, there are families which do not have bicycles. The Centre lacks equipment and supplies and has inadequate health personnel. It does not even have a midwife. It is currently served by one nurse and an aid. All these factors combine to make many mothers in the area served by Nyabushenyi Health Centre deliver their babies from their homes.

ARH is in Ntungamo District meeting with authorities, health officials, health care providers, and communities to assess the specific maternal and reproductive health needs of the community it intends to serve. The organization will produce a comprehensive report on its findings to guide its work and that of other stakeholders in the health sector in the district. For now it is clear that communities in the district are served by health centres that lack the capacity to deliver maternal and reproductive health services effectively.