National Medical Stores distributes safe delivery maternity kits, commonly known as " mama kits" to Government health facilities in Uganda. For the International Women’s month, we would like to shed some light on the importance of mama kits.
NMS distributes a standard quantity of 55 safe delivery mama kits once every two months to all Government Health Center IIIs across the country. For the higher health facilities, that is, HCIVs, General Hospitals, Regional Referral Hospitals, National Referral Hospitals are allocated mama kits according to the population and the services they offer.
A standard mama kit as determined by Ministry of Health
contains the following essential items; cotton wool, gauze, 5 pairs of gloves, baby soap, razor blades, plastic sheet. These kits are required by every birthing mother both in private and public health facilities
A mama kit was first introduced and produced by some groups of women in Uganda in 1997 to provide delivering mothers with a safe and clean environment, and to combat infections and deaths associated with poor hygiene and unclean environment during childbirth. It was piloted in the districts of Soroti, Kaberamaido, Lira, Masindi, Bundibugyo, Mukono, Gulu and Mubende
Over the years, Government has increased the budget for mama kits from 15bn in FY2019/20 to 17.5bn in FY2021/22, which translates to 1,651,674 million mama kits. This shows Government's commitment to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3(SDG 3) - to accelerate the decline of maternal mortality by 2030 and ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes.
Mama kits are credited for increasing the attendance of expectant mothers for ante-natal care, thereby increasing the chances of giving birth in hospitals under the attendance of qualified health workers.
Important to note, is that mama kits are still inaccessible for many of the vulnerable people especially in rural Uganda. Research shows that most of the mama kits that are provided free of charge by Ugandan government are sold to the mothers who are meant to get them at no cost by some unscrupulous individuals. This is a sad reality!
For the Ugandans we serve, report any theft or sale of mama kits and/or medicines which are embossed, "Government of Uganda, Not for Sale" to the nearest police station or State House Health Monitoring Unit.