Advocates Call For Supplementary Budget To Address Shortage Of Health Workers, Midwives In Uganda

“The shortage of health workers in Uganda is a ‘crisis,’ says the Minister of Health, and activists say expectant mothers are bearing the brunt of the country’s staffing deficiency,” IRIN reports. “Just 56 percent of Uganda’s available health positions are filled,” the news service writes, adding, “A parliamentary committee’s recent attempt to redirect 75 billion Ugandan shillings — about US$27.5 million — out of a national budget of more than 10 trillion shillings ($3.6 billion) towards hiring enough health workers was rebuffed in September.”

“The reallocation failure has angered health advocates, especially maternal health activists, who point to the lack of trained nurses and midwives as a key reason an estimated 16 women die daily giving birth in Uganda,” IRIN notes. The health ministry has responded to criticism “by shifting some of its funding towards hiring and has been talking to donors about accessing more money for staffing, but health advocates say it is not enough,” the news service writes, adding, “They are calling on government to pass a supplementary budget this year or risk losing thousands of mothers” (10/27).