In Uganda, saving newborns

starts with a change in procurement policy
In Uganda, saving newborns
Basic resuscitation equipment could save 4 out of 5 babies who are not breathing at birth. Here, a newborn in the maternity ward at the Garissa Provincial Hospital, Kenya, March 2011. © UNICEF/Nesbitt

The White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) Uganda just published a policy brief ‘Saving Newborn Lives: a change in procurement policy of resuscitation devices is a matter of urgency‘, calling on the Ugandan Government to improve and simplify the procurement of neonatal resuscitation equipment.

The policy brief requests that the Government transfers the procurement of the resuscitation devices from the Ministry of Health to National Medical Stores, the bodies responsible for procurement of health supplies and medicines at all health centers across the country, to enable health facilities to order the equipment directly as it is needed. WRA also calls the Government to allocate a budget line for the procurement, repair and replacement of newborn resuscitation equipment, and to provide training to health workers on how to use the equipment.

WRA estimates that making basic resuscitation equipment – a neonatal bag and mask, a suction device and a resuscitation training mannequin – , available across the country and placed in the hands of skilled health workers, could save 4 out of 5 babies who are not breathing at birth.

The White Ribbon Alliance Uganda recommends the Government strengthens the demand and supply chain systems to ensure that resuscitation devices are available at every health center which conducts deliveries and can be replaced as required. This will improve the availability of these life-saving devices at health facilities and save the lives of newborns.

Read the White Ribbon Alliance Uganda’s policy brief here.

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