Home Health Rise in Infant Mortality Grips West Nile Sub-Region

Rise in Infant Mortality Grips West Nile Sub-Region

Infant Mortality Rates Surge in West Nile Sub Region
Infant Mortality Rates Surge in West Nile Sub Region
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Medical teams in the West Nile sub-region are worried about the increasing number of babies dying. They say this is happening because of different problems like poverty, not going for check-ups during pregnancy, not getting vaccines, and more cases of malaria. The worst-hit areas are Madi Okollo, Nebbi, Terego, and Arua districts.

A report from the 2022-2023 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey shows that the number of babies and newborns dying is going up in all the districts. In the year 2022/2023, there were between 15 and 34 deaths for every 1000 babies born.

The reasons for babies dying are different in each district, but some things are the same all over the region.

Malaria is the main reason for this. It makes 42% of the problems, and 12% of the babies who get sick from it die. Dr. Christopher Dradiku from Arua Referral Hospital says that if a pregnant woman gets malaria, she might lose her baby and maybe even die herself.

Dominic Drametu, the District Health Officer of Adjumani, says they are the worst district in Uganda with 34 deaths for every 1000 babies born. He says this is a big problem.

Poverty is another reason why babies are dying. Paul Anzubo, the District Health Officer of Maracha, explains that because people are very poor, they can’t buy good food and have a nice place to live. This makes the problem worse.

Not having enough good food has become a big problem too. Dr. Dradiku warns that when children don’t have enough good food, they get sick easily and can die.

Parents and caregivers are also not getting their children vaccinated like they should. Dr. Dradiku says that fewer children got their shots in the last year compared to the year before. This means more kids can get sick from diseases like measles, which they could have been protected against.

Even though more moms are having their babies in hospitals and clinics, West Nile sub-region is still behind. Only Arua city, Moyo, and Nebbi districts had more than 68% of babies born in these places in 2022/2023. Many moms in the region still want to give birth at home, often with the help of traditional birth helpers.

Dr. Dradiku explains, “In the past, our moms believed in giving birth at home, but sometimes things go wrong, and that’s not good.”

Doctors and nurses want the government and others to make a plan to make things better. This plan will try to solve these problems and make sure more babies survive. They hope this will make healthcare better for everyone in the region.