Mortality infant deaths still high – Experts
By: Melanie Aanyu
Health experts have warned that the government’s complacency in addressing the skills gap among health workers, lack of equipment in facilities and poor supervision has impeded the fight to reduce infant deaths in the country.
The country is registering up to 30 infant deaths per 1,000 births, a number several times higher than four deaths per 1,000 births registered in developed countries like in Europe, according to a September 2022 report by a global research organisation Population Reference Bureau (PRB).
Uganda, according to government statistics, already missed the Millennium Development Goal of reducing the infant mortality rate by 66 percent from 107 deaths per 1,000 births in 1990 to 36 deaths per 1,000 births in 2015.
In 2015, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos) conducted a national survey and found that the infant mortality rate was at 43 deaths per 1,000 births due to the above gaps.
Dr Olive Sentumbwe, the World Health Organisation (WHO) family, health and population advisor, warned that Uganda is making very slow progress towards the Sustainable Development Goal of cutting newborn deaths by 50 percent by 2030.
Currently, the newborn deaths (within 28 days of life) stand at 27 per 1,000 births, according to the Health ministry.