Speaker Rebecca Kadaga addresses the gathering during the launch of Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBi), at Jinja Referral Hospital on Wednesday.
Mr Peter Magoma is struggling to come to terms with the questionable conduct of some health workers at Jinja Referral Hospital who chased away his heavily pregnant wife so that they could prepare spotless wards for the visit of Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga.
Tragically, his wife, Ms Monicah Wokobeire, who was in labour, lost her three babies—triplets. Two of the babies died upon delivery while the third died as it was being rushed to the nearby Nalufenya Children Hospital.
Mr Magoma of Buzaya Sub-county in Kamuli district says he is still shocked by the conduct of some of the maternity ward nurses at Jinja Referral Hospital who preferred to give priority to the visit of the Speaker of Parliament at the expense of saving lives.
Mr Magoma in a mid-week interview said his wife couldn’t save the little ones because they were too much for her to handle on her own.
He said his wife struggled to deliver the babies just adjacent to Jinja Referral Hospital maternity wards where they had come to safely deliver the babies.
The fateful events happened on Wednesday just hours before Ms Kadaga arrived at the referral hospital where she launched the Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBi), an initiative founded on the belief that every child deserves a healthy start, regardless of the circumstances he or she was born into.
The initiative is being championed by the Makerere University School of Public Health in collaboration with the University of California, San Francisco, USA.
Mr Magoma argued that the hospital should have struck a balance between its mandate to save life and public relation exercise that the facility seems to have chosen over saving three young lives.
He said: “My wife was referred here because the health workers at Nawankadulo Health Centre said they couldn’t deal with the delivery of the triplets.”
“Upon our arrival here we were chased away because the nurses are too busy preparing for the visit of Ms Kadaga. And the consequence of that resulted in the death of our babies.”
According to Mr Magoma, two triplets died shortly after being born, following the struggle and condition under which they were delivered while the third who was in bad condition, died while being rushed to Nalufenya Children Hospital.
When Daily Monitorcontacted the Jinja Regional Referral Hospital Director, Ms Sophie Namasopo after the incident, she said she didn’t take notice of the development as she was busy preparing for the visit of the Speaker of Parliament.
Ms Kadaga, who also didn’t take notice of the incident that happened before her arrival, in her remarks said the government should expand the wards where the premature babies are taken care of as the current one is too small and badly lit, let alone being overstretched.
The Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, said about 226,000 babies are born preterm and 12,500 children under five years die due to the direct preterm complication. Preterm Infants are those born before 37 weeks.
In a speech read on her behalf by Dr Jessica Nsubuga, the Assistant Commissioner for Child Health, she said some of the solution to improve the survival and health of vulnerable preterm and low birth weight babies includes breastfeeding and properly taking care of the umbilical cord.