2,000 Mothers, 15,500 Babies Could Be Saved
As Ghana celebrates the International Day of the Midwife, it is important to understand that as a country, we need more midwives now more than ever. If we are able to do this, the country will be saving over 2000 mothers as well as 15000 babies.
It is in the view of this that the Minister for Health, Hanny-Sherry Ayitey, is being called upon by individuals, groups and institutions to urgently address the shortfall in the number of midwives needed to help Ghanaian mothers deliver safely.
However, most health facilities across the country are coming to terms with the realities, and as such are making efforts to address this phenomenon. But that is not the case at Korle-Bu, the nation?s premier hospital.
As some facilities are training more midwives and nurses, Korle-Bu is chasing more out. All by the caretaker Board Chairman, Eddie Annan who believes that the realities that without more midwives and nurses, children and mothers are in great danger, are just a fallacy.
Indeed, he has decided to sack nurses and midwives from the hospital just because they have decided to upgrade their skills to the benefit of humanity.
Midwives play a vital role in supporting women throughout their pregnancy as well as being highly trained to manage complications at birth.
Many nurses and midwives are believed to travel long distances and work long hours to give high quality care to women in their community.
Experts in maternal and newborn have calculated that if all Ghanaian women had access to the services provided by midwives, then the lives of up to 2,000 mothers and 15,500 babies could be saved by 2015.
MamaYe campaign also indicated that it was right that we honour our midwives on International Day of the Midwife.
The Campaign applauded the Government?s commitment to strengthen its free maternal health policy, but added that more needs to be done to expand this critical workforce.
Data published in the report State of the World?s Midwives show that Ghana is missing 29% of the midwives required to support the births which take place each year in Ghana.
In 2008, there were an estimated 3,780 midwives, nurse-midwives and nurses with midwifery competencies in Ghana, 5 midwives per 1,000 live births in 2008. This almost reaches the benchmark of 6 midwives per 1,000 live births.
Also, in 2010, there were an estimated 3,591 midwifery personnel? in Ghana and based on the 2010 estimates of the availability of midwifery personnel, Ghana will need 1,459 more midwives in order to achieve 95% SBA coverage by 2015.
It was reported that if all women delivered with a midwife in a facility providing fully functioning Basic Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care, as well as received all other aspects of reproductive care that midwives deliver, then 69% of maternal deaths could be averted and 2,000 maternal deaths could also be averted in 2015, whilst 61% of neonatal deaths could be prevented with 15,500 neonatal deaths prevented by 2015.
In 2010, Ghana?s government committed to strengthen its free maternal health care policy by ensuring 95% of pregnant women are reached with comprehensive PMTCT (Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission) service and as well, ensuring security for family planning commodities.
However, healthcare providers believed the trend of events at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital could spell disaster for the country if care is not taken.
The Moment has gathered that some staff of Korle-Bu who are not comfortable with turn of events will soon hit the streets in protest to the inhuman treatment by the Board Chairman, coupled with the insensitive nature he (Eddie Annan) does employ to issues, especially when he wants to meet an inordinate desire to favour his cronies and put others at the disadvantage.
A Vox-Pop interview conducted through the principal streets of the capital on the issues happening at Korle-Bu, majority of people spoken to, held the view that the worst thing that had ever happened to Korle-Bu was the appointment of Eddie Annan to that position, and the only remedy to the situation is to show him the exit.