Dr. Richard Mangwi Ayiasi of Makerere University, College of Health Sciences, School of Public Health gave a presentation on Newborn care in Masindi and Kiryandongo districts.

During the presentation Dr. Richard Mangwi gave objectives of:-

  • Explore newborn care practices in the region (Masindi and Kiryandongo districts);
  • To determine the level of knowledge among health workers regarding prenatal and newborn care.
  • To explore the focus of prenatal education regarding newborn care.

Newborn death is major public health problem in Uganda and Masindi & Kiryandongo districts. About 29/1000 die before reaching one month old. The causes of these deaths are known and are related to temperature, breastfeeding and hygiene. Recommended interventions are cheap and effective. But the question remains, why are babies still dying?

The dessimenation study was sponsored by Africa Hub and Future Health Systems (FHS). Download the full  presentation here

Edisa Babaranda, a resident of Nawanende Village in Kamuli District, lost her child during labour as a result of a delay in accessing a health facility.
Babaranda knew that she would need money when time to deliver came, but she did not do anything about it. She was hoping her husband would provide the financial support she would need.

Unfortunately, when the labour pains started, her husband was not at home.

But hours later when he returned home, he was drunk and did not have any money to transport his wife to the health facility—about 10 kilometres away from their home.

Babaranda is a housewife with no source of income. At the time of delivery, her neighbour attempted to help her deliver from home, but hours of intense labour passed without success. And so a solution had to be found as soon as possible.

Role of VHTs
A Village Health Team (VHT) member was called to help. VHTs serve as the primary village-level health contact person for all villages across the country. The VHT member wrote a referral note, mobilised money and hired a motorcycle to take Babaranda to Nawanende Health Centre III. At this point, it was clear she had developed obstructed labour.

From: Future Health Systems

Both policy-makers and academics recognize that several factors contribute to how decisions are made and what policies and practices come to bear. Of those, health systems research (HSR) has been acknowledged as a critical input in the decision making process and ultimately in improving the performance of health systems.

In order to address this gap, seven schools of Public Health and selected health policy institutions across six countries in East and Central Africa embarked on a five-year project to strengthen their capacity to undertake high quality, policy relevant HSR. The project is known as the Africa Hub, and is learning platform supported byof Future Health Systems. Identification of HSR capacity strengths, gaps and needs served as priority for this endeavour.

In many contexts, the existing capacity for HSR has never been systematically documented. To address this, the Africa Hub pulled together a special series of journal articles in HARPS that share the experiences and results of HSR capacity assessments conducted at Jimma University (Ethiopia), Kinshasa University (DR Congo), Makerere University (Uganda), Moi University (Kenya), Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (Tanzania), Nairobi University (Kenya) and National University of Rwanda.

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