Their plea was echoed by the Parliamentary Committee on Administration and Local Government which said that most hospitals in the country face the challenge of big number of patients, adding the situation is worse on maternity facilities.
"A cross-section of stakeholders have called on the government to ensure the 2017/18 budget help improve provision of maternal health services in the country. "Their plea was echoed by the Parliamentary Committee on Administration and Local Government which said that most hospitals in the country face the challenge of big number of patients, adding the situation is worse on maternity facilities.
A group of expectant mothers who visited the National Assembly to witness the tabling of the budget for Ministry of State, President’s Office, funding to the hospital and Local Government, urged the government to increase funding to the hospitals.
They argued that in most maternity wards, expectant mothers are forced to share beds, and even after delivery, two or three mothers share a single bed with the newly born children.
“It is high time the government increase funds for maternal health since the situation is not good at all” said one Elizabeth Chipaka. She argued that there is also shortage of staff in most health centres and hospitals.
Her colleague, Happy Sukua on her part said the budget should focus on increasing availability of drugs too at the hospitals since most rural based mothers hardly access drugs.
She argued that even nurses at the hospitals need motivation, urging the government to see how to empower them and give them the needed tools that aid delivery.
Dyness Stuli, a health practitioner at Chikande health centre also noted that they face several challenges in helping expectant mothers to deliver safely. She noted that the government should strive to ensure availability of the needed equipment and improve working conditions.
“There is need to increase the number of health practitioners in effort to expand services and provision of health services in the country,” she noted.
Szarina Hamisi, project officer at the White Ribbon Alliance said maternal deaths in the country is still alarming as 30 women die per day due to delivery complications.
“District councils should ensure they implement the budget to help reduce maternal deaths, and the central government needs to increase funding, specifically for maternal health,
provision of health services.
The committee chairperson, Jasson Rweikiza said; “Most hospital are really congested, the situation is even worse in maternity wards”. Tabling the committee views on the ministerial 2017/18 budget estimates, the general view is that most hospitals have small budgets and lack drugs as well as wards.