The thin line between Safe-Motherhood and Sustainable Development.

The buzz of activity that alighted Kisowera primary school along Kayunga Road in Mukono district on Monday the same day senior four candidates sat their first National examination was one to continuously remember. Students from different primary and secondary schools, civil servants, Government Officials, non-profit organizations, health personnel among various other attendees all came together to commemorate the National Safe motherhood day.

A skit on safe delivery on how a pregnant woman due to give birth visits hospital and isn’t given the attention she seeks was acted out, this character then loses her life or her baby. This scenario is unfortunately daily bread in most of our hospitals within the country today.

So query is; A year after the Agenda 2030 on sustainable development was announced, How much progress are we making towards fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals especially Goal 3 targets that speak of Good health and well-being?

According to Uganda Demographic Health Statistics (UDHS),  16 mothers lose their lives daily. This as was emphasized by Rosa Malango, the UN resident coordinator who stated this is not a good image in the maternal health statistics of a developing country.

For a country to achieve a developed status, its health system should be strengthened with majority of services accessible by its citizens.- Rosa Malango

So what then could be the problem?

In Uganda today, 1 in 4 girls aged 15-19 years is either pregnant or has already had their first child. Furthermore, we still have cases where young girls are forced into early marriages without much of a choice to decide when or whom to marry.

These young girls are usually not physically, psychologically or emotionally ready to carry child so they face stigmatizing and esteem demoralizing situations like dropping out of school, they become social disgraces and misfits among friends, they then subscribe to a life of poverty because as their guardians neglect them, they equally have no source of income.

The mind blowing fact is a pregnant teenager will face 5 times the number of complications faced by a mature pregnant mother and as such face the risk of obstetric fistula (leakage from their private parts) and inevitably, they could lose their lives during child-birth.

The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports in her address read by the state minister for health, Hon. Joyce Kaducu said safe mother-hood though may mean improving the conditions under which women give birth, it also advocates for empowering young girls to stay in school and not be swayed away from working towards their dreams. She equally urged parents to invest in the girl-child as effortlessly as they would the boy-child.

She concluded her speech stating that “Mothers are the Nation and how you raise them right from the start will determine their role in sustaining the nation”.

In my opinion; Young people make up the fastest and largest growing population in the country and how we meet their increasing needs will equally determine their future. Safe motherhood has more to it than safe delivery, it goes back to how young people are empowered with information about their sexual reproductive health and rights.

Also you can check out the various projects Reach A Hand Uganda has/is implementing like “Let Girls Be Girls– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBFm-nxHUdQ” and “Better Life For Girls in partnership with UNFPA and KOICA   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKUMXnfOAec

Everyone has a role to play, when talk is about the girl-child, this doesn’t mean the boys have been sidelined, it takes two to tango but for realization of development, every one of us needs to take part in this tango.

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RED VELVET

She has failed once.. No twice.. aah… many more times than you would mind count

She has hurt before… not even close to finite but yes she has

He has cried before.. salt filled drops he thought would freeze the world

He has hit the wall.. in a bid to relieve himself of an anger

I have broken down several times, the floor gave me a blanket

I have been such a poor unguided soul that I wondered into the desert where temptation came lurking when my bones crashed, lips dried and emaciation became me

She has sought hope where a turmoil caused a wave of defeat in her inner self

She has looked not beyond but only until where her eyes could see

He has slapped himself from what he ultimately thought was a day dream never to manifest

He has procrastinated at the things he knew he should be doing, at passions not bodily, at joys unprejudiced and peace unexplainable

I have taken for granted what should be treasure only discovered in the sands of Jupiter

I have looked as ugly and yet beauty is all that I am. Beauty on the inside, beauty on the out

She has failed at her own house cleaning, she wonders if new or old a broom would she manage sweep

She has scratched at her scars for ruining her beauty

Burnt down the bridges that would bring the best of all bonds

Frowned when all that was required was even the tiniest flinch of a smile

He wonders whether the cursing shall make him better

It will rather pinch his esteem, fog his destiny

But then I wonder; is this all I have had in life

Na-aah… not really

I recently found love

So deep it gripped my heart without my knowledge

It is pain but the sweet one

One that brings tears (yes I cry) to my eyes

Sometimes my body can’t contain it

Sometimes I feel like I am floating

Unusually sweet… But rightly paramount

The smile doesn’t have to be hidden or forced from the core

Because well she laughs… the hard resounding laugh you will hear echo in the willows

She dances.. the kind of tango you would mistake for a waltz

Prince charming came striding not from the same region as she

In-fact further off, a land she only heard from the storybooks did he alight

Oh this prince charming is why you are smiling right now

Anticipating His description

But since power has left my premise,

A dot of his love shall I let you think of.

But why a dot, Have him if you can find Him, he did find you already

Offered you a rose of bent knee, or was he seated up that kingly horse

A prick of the thorn he took and offered you red velvet

So His RED VELVET, the loveliest of all creation does he call you…

     *winks….