The world has put considerable effort in improving maternal and child health. The efforts have resulted in a decline of 44% in maternal mortality from 1990 to 2015. Despite the considerable progress, there are still existing challenges in Maternal and Child Health, especially in developing countries.
Every day, an estimated 830 women die from preventable causes related to Pregnancy and Child Birth with 99% of these deaths occurring in low resource settings. Maternal mortality in these settings is even higher for instance for every maternal death, 20-30 women suffer from pregnancy-related mortalities.
Maternal Health and wellbeing is closely linked to child health outcomes which is indeed reflected in Child mortality trends globally. Globally, under five Mortality by 56%, from an estimated rate of 93 deaths per 1000 live births in 1990 to 41 deaths per 1000 live births in 2016.
The rate of child mortality is still high especially in Africa where it stands at 76.5 per 1000 live births 8 times higher than in Europe.
To achieve SDG 3, the world has to work towards reducing maternal and under-five Mortality to 70/100,000 and 25/1000 live births by 2030 respectively. This requires consolidated efforts by Governments and development partners to strengthen public Health systems and provide quality and equitable MCH services.
Uganda has committed strategies and efforts to improve maternal and child health indicators. The country’s maternal mortality reduced from 438 to 336 deaths per 100,000 live births between 2011 and 2016. The Under-five mortality followed a similar trend with a significant decline from 90 to 64 deaths per 1000 live births between 2011 and 2016.
Despite the significant progress, the indicators of maternal and child health (MCH) are still very poor. These existing challenges are further compounded by gaps in sexual & reproductive health, social and structural factors. There is, therefore, need for joint strategies by the government, development partners and the community to address these challenges in order to holistically improve maternal and child health.
In a bid to support MCH Services in Uganda, The Uganda UK Health Alliance (UUKHA) has an established consortium on maternal health where UK Organisations jointly work to improve Maternally and Child Health. The consortium is a platform of systemic leadership where independent members embrace shared learning, joint working and mutual partnership with local institutions to improve MCH. The consortium has, in turn, created sustainability of programs, reduced duplication of efforts and ensured value for money in the various activities implemented by members.
UUKHA is committed to supporting UK organisations that are keen to do work in Uganda’s MCH. We continue to further coordinate volunteering schemes for institutions and individuals through professional exchange and volunteer schemes.