With the help of the Ministry of Health and KCCA and the USAID Maternal Child Health and Nutrition, the government of Uganda has launched a new media campaign via which they aim to improve the demand for and utilization of maternal child and nutrition services in the poor urban communities.
Dubbed ‘Wawulide?”, a Luganda word for “Have you listened”, the multimedia campaign has been rolled out in the mark communities, using a variety of radio spots and visual media.
As per the statement of Dr. Ronald Mutumba, which is also an urban health specialist but also the main person for the campaign at USAID Maternal Child Health and Nutrition, the project targets all women of reproductive age, pre-pregnant women’s & pregnant and lactating young women, care takers of children under five years in Kampala, especially those in poor urban areas plus the health facilities and health workers that serve them in a regular basis.
Furthermore, Mutumba stated that we always believe that information carries power, and the main of these campaigns is to inform and sensitize the community about the available maternal child health nutrition services. Many women always make mistakes during their maternal and childcare period not because they want to, and the reason is that they don’t have the right information and are not aware of where to find information.
Not only this, we also want men, peers and older women, religious and community leaders to be involved in promoting women to seek maternal and child health services in time to improve the health of the general assembly, it is only through good health that communities can prosper.”
According to the World Health organization, Uganda remains one of the countries with high maternal and infant mortality rates and nutrition challenges globally.
As of 2021, Uganda’s infant mortality rate was 42 deaths per 1000 live births, higher than the Sub-Saharan Africa average of 27 deaths per 1000 live births, and the institutional maternal mortality rate was 336 deaths per 100,000 live births (UBOS, 2016).
However, the rate of maternal mortality is better than the sub-Saharan average of 533 deaths for every 100,000 lives, the whole numbers represent way too many women dying needlessly while trying to bring life into the world.
Moreover, after this initiative, there has been an improvement in access to maternal, new-born, and child health services, there’s a disparity in access, especially among the urban poor, including adolescent and young women whose access to health services is still limited by their economic status, majorly because they lack access to information about the availability of services that are affordable or free in most government-aided health centers.
The campaign is expected to raise awareness about maternal child health and nutrition services via simple, easy-to-understand, and remember messages.
It promotes parents and their counterparts in poor urban communities of Kampala to use the available maternal child health, immunization, and nutrition services available at communal health facilities to reduce the health risk.