By Ahura Mujuni Mark
Ugandan legislators are considering the construction of a specialized health care unit to handle maternal and neo-natal health at Mulago national referral hospital.
The project to be financed by a USD 30 million loan from the Islamic Development Bank and the government of Uganda awaits the approval of Parliament.
According to a report tabled by the Parliamentary Committee on national economy July 26, the project will house a functional tertiary referral 320-bed specialized maternal and neo-natal health care unit in a six storey building by 2016.
“The number of women giving birth at the hands of qualified health personnel is expected to increases a result of this unit. This will help curb the maternal and infant mortality rate that stands at 435 maternal deaths per 1000 live births and 76 deaths per 1,000 respectively”, Committee Chairperson Hon. Mbagadhi Nkayi told Parliament.
He observed that the dilapidation of the existing reproductive health infrastructure at Mulago national referral hospital is a challenge to the health sector.
The committee noted that the current maternity and operating theatres at the national referral cannot match the ever increasing number of patients. The maternity wards have reportedly surpassed their official bed capacity.
Members also urged government to consider recruitment of adequate health personnel as well as reviewing their wages to enhance retention in the health sector.
Legislators will meet next week to consider the proposed loan request following the report tabled by the Parliamentary Committee on National Economy.