Constitutional Court begins hearing maternal deaths case
The Constitutional Court in Kampala, Uganda, started a case against the Government of Uganda on preventable maternal deaths and the right to health.
The case, Petition Number 16 of 2011, argues that by not providing essential medical commodities and health services to pregnant women, the government is violating the constitutional rights of Ugandans, including the right to health, the right to life, and the rights of women.
The petition highlights the case of two women who died in childbirth; their families were also present at the hearing. Many reports of additional maternal deaths from across Uganda have come to light since the case was filed on 3 March 2011.
The court case was started by a group of activists representing health, HIV/AIDS, human rights, and womenʼs organisations in Uganda. According to the activists, cases of preventable maternal death such as of the two women are commonplace in Uganda.
One of the complainers, Hilda Kironde of Uganda Community Based Association for Child Welfare (UCOBAC) said: “With sufficient funding and leadership, these deaths would stop. We are hopeful that the Constitutional Court will understand the unacceptable plight that expectant mothers face in Uganda.”
The activists call for a 2011/2012 supplementary budget that increases investments in the life-saving emergency care, health workers, commodities and services that could end Ugandaʼs crisis of preventable maternal death.