A cheery Ms. Happy Ainomugisha who was recently awarded Master’s degree in Human rights and local governance from the East African school of Diplomacy and International Studies-Nkozi University could not hold back her excitement when she was asked to have a say on women rights. “Putting an end to women rights violation is my focal area of intervention, women need to join hands for this cause” noted with a light smile.
She described human rights as the right to life, liberty, equality, freedom and a fair trial, right to liberty and freedom, the right to the pursuit of happiness, the right to live your life free of discrimination, the right to control what happens to your own body and to make medical decisions for yourself.
“ACFODE gave me time and opportunity to pursue my studies successfully, am so glad to belong to ACFODE Fraternity, an organization that champions women rights violations” she stated hysterically.
For her Master’s thesis, Ms. Happy researched on the factors affecting maternal health. The study adopted a predominantly qualitative approach, studies about maternal health in Uganda point out that the maternal health of rural women constitutes 80% and there is still a gap in accessing maternal health services. This study assessed factors affecting maternal health services in government health facilities in Uganda taking Kabwohe Health Centre IV, in Sheema district as a case study. Specifically, the study examined how social, economic and cultural factors among rural women influence accessibility to maternal health services, the obstacles leading to constant increase of maternal issues among health workers sought possible solutions to the problems.
The study revealed that factors such as poor transport facilities, lack of health equipment, beliefs and insufficient quality of staff that hinders the delivery of maternal health service at Kabwohe health centre IV. The study recommended that government and stake holders ensure recruitment and training of more health workers, improve on the transport systems and generally equip the health facilities in order to uplift the health services so that maternal health services are greatly implemented. Alternative ambulance services (motorcycles) should be placed at lower health centres to ferry women that need to access health centers for maternal health services. Vigorous awareness and sensitization meetings on rights and responsibilities should be considered for both men and women to demand for their rights knowing what services they expect from government facilities.
Efforts by all stakeholders like government and development partners are called upon to ensure that more health workers are recruited to handle the number of women that come to seek maternal services. Refresher trainings are also called for so that the health workers’ knowledge is enhanced to handle more complicated cases. An assessment of all health facilities should be made so that the lacking equipment is identified and where possible; improvising can be made so that alternatives support equipment can be provided to supplement the rather expensive medical equipment. For example, in case a health centre lacks an electric autoclave to sterilise the medical equipment, improvising with firewood, water and saucepans can be used to sterilize the equipment.
Contact Happy for her full research.