First Lady Mrs Janet Museveni with State Minister for Primary Health Care Dr Joyce Moriku on her right and Dr Imelda Namagembe President of the Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Uganda on her left together with the visiting delegation from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists after their meeting at State House Nakasero last week.

FIRST LADY APPLAUDS COLLABORATION OF UGANDAN AND AMERICAN OBSTETRICIANS AND GYNECOLOGISTS TO IMPROVE MATERNAL AND NEWBORN HEALTH

The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Mrs. Janet Museveni has applauded the collaboration between Ugandan and American Obstetricians and Gynecologists to improve the quality of service delivery by the medical personnel in Uganda so as to save mothers and newborns from dying while under their care.

The First Lady, flanked by the State Minister of Primary Health Care Dr. Joyce Moriku, was meeting a delegation from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Uganda and Johnson and Johnson a diversified healthcare company that supports innovations to transform healthcare.

The meeting held at Nakasero State House on Wednesday, discussed the skills acquisition program called Essential Training in Operative Obstetrics and Gynecology that is being implemented by the Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Uganda in collaboration with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in three Ugandan Universities, with support from the Johnson and Johnson Company. The benefitting Universities are Makerere, Mbarara and Busitema.

This training is intended to impart a mixture of skills to medical doctors at the level of internship, which will enable them provide a safe service and hence reduce on the maternal and newborn mortality rates in the country.

Mrs. Janet Museveni noted that it is dismaying to see women continue to die in child birth despite the availability of the many health facilities scattered all over the country. This, she attributed to the lack of care by some doctors and midwives who she said neglect the mothers when they get to the hospitals and health centers.

She advised that this training should include attitude change for the health care givers in the line of child delivery.

Imelda Namagembe, President of the Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Uganda explained that the Essential Training in Operative Obstetrics and Gynecology programme has been running for 5 years and targets at producing medical personnel that can respond in a timely manner, provide safe surgery and save mothers. This training currently being given to Intern doctors, those on the Masters programme and all junior doctors will help address the causes of death of mothers such as excessive bleeding, obstructed labour and other complications during and after surgery.

“People who have been exposed to the training so far reveal that it has improved their confidence and the quality of surgical procedures they do”, Namagembe said and appreciated the Johnson and Johnson Company for supporting the trainings in Makerere, Mbarara and Busitema Universities.

She requested the Minister of Education to be on the lookout for funding to enable the scaling up of this training to benefit other internship institutions for medical personnel because it has a big potential of saving the mothers.

Dr. Joyce Moriku pointed out the need to strengthen the essential surgical skills training while still in Medical School to enable more exposure for the students. She also lauded Mrs. Janet Museveni for her role as champion for maternal and newborn health plus the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV, which she said has contributed greatly to the reduction of maternal and newborn deaths.

Carla Eckhardt from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said they are very passionate about this programme and they have been working with their Ugandan colleagues since 2015 to ensure that the young doctors gain experience and that they are at a level where they can offer a quality service. In this programme, the Americans are supporting their colleagues in the profession and provide experts, simulation models for practicing on so as to gain confidence and medical evidence that helps the training to move on.

A representative from Johnson and Johnson said that their company is committed to supporting and championing frontline health workers so that they are as adequate as possible where they are placed because they are the heart of healthcare delivery. Johnson and Johnson has also been supporting Midwifery and Nursing training in Uganda through the Agakhan Development Network

“It is worrisome when some of the causes of maternal death include doctors not having adequate skills and so with this training, we want to ensure that when someone goes before a skilled medical attendant, he has maximum chances of survival” said Professor Annet Nakimuli, the Head of Obstetrics and Gynecology Department of Makerere University based at Mulago Hospital, who also attended the meeting.

The meeting was also attended by officials from Makerere University, Kyambogo University and the Education Ministry.

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