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Lack of doctors leave mothers-to-be at high risk in Uganda

The lack of health workers in Uganda leaves mothers and their unborn children most at risk, IRIN reports. According to the Minister of Health, just 56 percent of health positions available in the nation are filled and despite Parliament's efforts, the president is refusing to move funding toward hiring new doctors, nurses and midwives.

According to the publication, a parliamentary committee recently tried to move $27.5 million from the national budget to put toward revamping the hospitals in the nation. President Yoweri Museveni rejected it, angering health advocates and especially maternal health humanitarians. Every day 16 women in Uganda die giving birth, which many experts believe is solely due to a lack of access to trained nurses and midwives.

Dorcas Amoding, an advocacy manager for Community Health & Information Network, said the government "should prioritize."

"There are these non-essential areas [in the budget]: the allowances, the cars, the international travel," Amoding told the publication. "Those are things they can wait for... What are the priorities? Women are going to hospitals, but they don't have someone to attend to them."

After the health ministry received much criticism for not adding new recruiting into its draft budget plan, members have shifted gears and are now looking into moving funds around to hire more physicians and nurses.
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