MARACHA. Health officials at Ovujo health centre (HC) III in Oluffe sub-county, Maracha district have suspended night deliveries over poor lighting system.

The decision has however, angered some residents who argued that the act is likely to expose expectant mothers to the risk of dying during birth especially at night.

But Mr Tom Abiku, the Ovujo HCIII management committee chairperson said the health workers took the decision following the implication of a midwife over the death of a child during delivery while using a poor lamp last year.

Abiku said the problem requires an external intervention since the amount of money allocated for maintenance and repair in the budget of primary health care (PHC) under the ministry of health for the health unit to acquire a solar system is too small (about shs50, 000) each quarter.

When contacted, Dr Paul Onzubo, the Maracha district health officer confirmed the incident to West Nile Web and simply said the situation has remained without any solution since the district has no money to replace or repair the existing solar system at Ovujo HCIII in the meantime.

Dr Paul Onzubo MarachaDr Paul Onzubo, the Maracha district Health Officer.

Ms Kevin Bacia, an expectant mother in labor pain and a resident of Ogbo village in Oluffe Sub County said after failing to deliver before the set time (6:00pm East African Time) at the health unit, the nurse on duty asked her to consider shifting to Maracha hospital since they don’t attend to any labor case at night.

“I’m disappointed because I have been forced to leave the health unit before giving birth on grounds that it is already 6pm and yet my cervix is not opening,” Bacia painfully narrated.

Ms Knight Maturu, 45, a resident of Ovujo village in Nyadri Sub County said whenever any expectant mother who starts experiencing labor pain in the night goes to Ovujo HC III, she will obviously be referred to Maracha hospital unless such a woman reports with a powerful electric lamp.

“This problem which has almost taken a year should be fixed without delay because in most cases, when expectant mothers are referred from Ovujo health centre III to Maracha hospital in the night, they are fined to pay shs40, 000 on top of the normal charge of shs45, 000 per delivery,” Maturu said.

The ministry of health makes it compulsory for every mother to attend antenatal services at least four times at the nearest health unit during pregnancy to reduce on the high mortality rate.

But the failure to rectify the power problems at Ovujo HCIII is increasingly putting lives of expectant mothers and babies at risk.