UNICEF commends Kasese district but warns on early motherhood

Uganda: Kasese district, western Uganda has been identified by UNICEF as leading rural areas in the mobilisation of pregnant mothers to deliver in health facilities.

Uganda: Kasese district, western Uganda has been identified by UNICEF as leading rural areas in the mobilisation of pregnant mothers to deliver in health facilities.

This observation was made on Thursday (November 1) by the UNICEF Country Programme Monitoring team, which was in the district to assess the progress of projects being funded by the organisation.

“We have found out that Kasese is excelling in the various areas of our [UNICEF] interventions but still a way must be found to address the problem of the increasing number of child mothers,” Juliet Kyakuhaire, a senior economist with the Ministry of Finance noted.

UNICEF funds several interventions in Kasese district, particularly in the sectors of primary education, health, water and sanitation, and child vulnerability in order to enable children to be brought up healthily in a stable environment.

The team, led by Kyakuhaire, was also happy to discover that an average of 50 pregnant mothers deliver at Kyarumba Health Centre 3 in Bukonzo East constituency every month.

The members of the team, among them Rosette Muziribi, an assistant commissioner for pre-primary education in the Ministry of Education and Sports, were also pleased to find another big group of pregnant women at the health unit waiting to deliver.

Another piece of information that drew the attention of the UNICEF team was that, while it was good for 50 mothers to deliver every month at Kyarumba Health Centre, they were being handled by a single midwife who had chosen to train two villagers to help her in the process of delivering the babies.

But the team – which was accompanied by Member of Parliament for Bukonzo East Yokasi Bihande, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Simon Peter Ekileng, District Medical Officer Dr. Yusufu Baseka and other district signatories during the exercise – noted with concern the number of child mothers at the health units they visited.

The members of the UNICEF monitoring team also noted that the number of early pregnancies resulting from defilements was frustrating the education of the girl child in the district. The team advised the district administration to intensify mobilisation of parents to encourage them to take their girl children to school when they are still young enough to reach primary seven before what they described as ‘vultures’ [older men looking to abuse and exploit girls] have not seen them.

Kasese District Chairperson Rt. Lt. Col. Mawa Muhindo thanked UNICEF for helping the district, especially in the sectors of education, health and water and sanitation. Mawa promised that the district leadership was going to intensify mobilisation of people so that they can own the UNICEF projects for sustainability.

However, earlier MP Bihande observed that, whereas it was a good idea for expecting mothers to wait for delivering at Kyarumba Health Centre, the time of their waiting should be short. His advice follows reports that some expectant mothers leave their homes two months before delivering to wait at Kyarumba Health Centre.

 

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