Expectant mothers in Amudat travel 40 kilometres to deliver in Kenya

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Expectant mother

Amudat, Uganda | URN | Expectant mothers in Amudat district trek a distance of more than 40 kilometres to access maternal services in neighboring Kenya. This is a result of lack of adequate facilities and midwives in the district.

According to records at the district health department, there are only eight health centres. They include five health centre IIs, two health center IIIs and one health center IV.

Barbra Chelain, a mother and a resident of Akorikeya village says that most mothers wait for more than five hours to be attended to by one staff in the health facility.

“Even me, I have never delivered in Amudat and it’s not our wish to go and deliver in another country, but it’s because of the poor health situation in our district,” she said.

Paul Ruto, the LCI chairperson of Siroi village in Karita sub-county says that expectant mothers who cannot afford to hire motorcycles to take them to deliver in Kacheliba in Kenya are forced to use the services of traditional birth attendants.

“We have talked and talked and I think our leaders have also talked but we are not seeing things happening,” he said.

Dr Patrick Sagati, the Amudat hospital medical superintendent says that the situation is worse during the rainy season when the roads to the health facilities are slippery and impassable.

Francis Kiyonga, the LCV chairperson Amudat notes that most health centers have only one staff who doubles as a midwife and clinical officer.

Kiyonga said in health centres like Alakas and Cheptapoyo health center II, there is only one health worker to attend to more than 200 patients a day.

“Its true 87 per cent of pregnant mothers in Amudat district deliver in Kitale, Kacheliba and Kapenguria hospitals in Kenya due to shortage of midwives and other health staffs in the district,” he said.

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He says that the district has failed to construct a hospital due to lack of funds.

Kiyonga further said the district cannot recruit midwives and other health staff without money adding that its only ministry of health and public service to do so.

He appeals to the ministry of health and public service to use poor statistics of Amudat to address challenges that the district is facing.