NEBBI. The continuous maternal deaths in Nebbi district have been blamed on mothers who report late to health facilities after getting complications.

Speaking during the orientation of Nebbi district health workers on quality of care for maternal and neonatal health on Tuesday in Nebbi town, Ms Jane Manano, the Nebbi assistant health officer in charge of maternal health said mothers who die are mostly from the districts of Pakwach, Bulisa, Arua, Zombo and Democratic Republic of Congo.

“If it was just for Nebbi, we would have only one or two deaths but due to late referral by some of the health facilities, maternal death cases have gone up in Nebbi general hospital and Angal where most of the conditions have all along been referred,” she said.

She said most mothers are stubborn to the extent that they don’t want to go to health facilities early enough while others are ignorant about their conditions because they fail to go for antenatal care.

She said there is need to encourage women to always go for antenatal care as early as two months so that in case of any complications, they can be identified early enough for easy management.

Mr Francis Ojok, the technical advisor on maternal neonatal health at AVSI, an Italian organization that organized the orientation said the meeting was aimed at preparing the health workers on how best they can handle mothers during and after delivery.

“We realized that there are gaps in handling mothers in labour by midwives in the facilities which include delay in seeing mothers who report, rude midwives, delayed assessment as they wait for delivery and sometimes drug stock outs, all these affect the services they are to get," Ojok explained.

He said the complicated cases that come to the facilities late are basically due to lack of information on maternal health and that is why there are community dialogue and outreaches going on to enlighten the community on maternal health.

The district registered 12 maternal deaths last year but authorities fear it may go up this year after 4 cases were registered in the first quarter of the year.