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MPs are responsible for prioritizing and monitoring budget allocation for maternal health

Legislators were urged to step up advocacy and implementation of adequate financial funding for maternal health if the country is to uphold respectful maternal care, a universal right for every mother and newborn.

While making her remarks during a breakfast with women legislators under their body Network of African Women Ministers and Parliamentarians – Uganda Chapter (NAWMP), Dr. Rose Mukisa Bisobolwa, Executive Director of White Ribbon Alliance – Uganda (WRA-Uganda) recommended that in the essence of advocating for the provision of quality health services to pregnant women, legislators should not just push for budget allocation, but also scrutinize, monitor and demand accountability for funds allocated to maternal health.

Dr. Mukisa also highlighted the need for supportive service delivery policies.

Dr Rose Mukisa, ED WRA-Uganda making her remarks.

Hon. Agnes Taaka, the female MP for Bugiri, echoed Dr Mukisa’s call to review the budget funds allocated and blamed the Ministry of Finance for adopting different budgets as opposed to the recommendations of relevant committees.

“It is unfortunate that the Ministry of Finance always has its own priorities which it justifies in the budget, committees in their expertise allocate funds but the Ministry of Finance does something different,” she said.

“For example, the Ministry of Health requested 5 billion for the renovation of the Bugiri hospital but when reading the budget, this money was not mentioned. However, yesterday I received a letter from the pigeon box confirming the allocation of only one billion,” she said.

According to current statistics from the Ministry of Health, 27 out of 1,000 babies born die before their first birthday and 336 out of 100,000 mothers die in childbirth.

Josephine Bilibona, Chairperson of the Network of African Women Ministers and Parliamentarians – Uganda Chapter (NAWMP) said it is unrealistic for stakeholders to assume that all is well.

Bilibona said it was a collective effort by all stakeholders to hold the government accountable to have maternal health built on all its building blocks of human resources, pharmaceuticals, logistics. and patient care.

“Most MPs have bought ambulances for their constituencies, it is not in our remit to buy these ambulances but because we still lack functioning referral systems, we find ours