Uganda Sees Remarkable Decrease in Maternal and Child Deaths

Kampala–U.S. Mission Uganda, in partnership with the Ministry of Health (MOH), celebrated the success of reducing maternal mortality by 30% though Saving Mothers Giving Life (SMGL), a program supported by the U.S. government (USG).  The results were highlighted at a dissemination meeting held in Kabarole district today, where MOH, USG, and SMGL partners discussed key findings and lessons learned from Phase 1 of the program.  SMGL was piloted in the districts of Kabarole, Kibaale, Kamwenge and Kyenjojo.

Through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), SMGL has helped to address critical challenges to maternal and child death in Uganda, including the shortage of health workers, by hiring doctors and midwives to accelerate access to services.  The Ministry of Health incorporated many of the newly-recruited staff as regular personnel with the adaption of a wage bill that improved salary and living conditions.

“When we ensure that more women deliver with the presence of a skilled health worker, we can greatly reduce their risk of dying when complications arise,” USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah said.  CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., remarked, “Saving Mothers Giving Life has substantially improved the health of women and their babies in Uganda by making better care more accessible.”

Results presented in the recent SMGL dissemination event attribute the gains to an increase in the number of women delivering in health facilities – up by 62% – and to women’s improved access to emergency obstetric and newborn care.  The SMGL program also saw an increase in hiring and training skilled birth attendants, improvement of transport and communications networks among communities and facilities, strengthening of supply chains for life-saving medicines and commodities, and expanding testing and treatment for HIV/AIDS for women and their newborns.

For additional information, please contact:

Nanyonga Dorothy

Information Assistant

U.S. Mission Uganda

Tel: +256-414-250-314×6104 Cell: +0772138-194, 0784846334