In Uganda, the numbers of women dying in childbirth is increasing. This is one of the fastest growing countries in the world, with family planning unavailable to many. More than half of women still give birth with only family members to help them. And although the government has banned unskilled traditional birth attendants, it has done little to increase the number of staff with life-saving skills at health facilities.
White Ribbon Alliance Uganda wanted things to change, and it started by leading an assessment of staffing levels for maternal health services in select districts around the country. We used our findings to advocate for change, connecting with district leaders, Members of Parliament and Ministry of Health staff to support the recruitment, deployment, and motivation of more trained health workers.
As a membership organisation, White Ribbon Alliance engaged many of our followers in this process. In the end, various civil society groups, media organisations, and even entertainment celebrities joined us.
“The Alliance model is powerful”, said Robina Biteyi, White Ribbon Alliance Uganda Coordinator. “Bringing together people from local government, health care providers, NGOs, and the media to find workable solutions accomplishes far more than any single organisation can do on its own.”
As a result, overall staffing levels increased from 30% at the beginning of the project to 57% at its conclusion, and the number of women who gave birth with the assistance of a skilled health worker increased from 38% to 47%.