GHS adopts new approach to tackle maternal health in V/R

Ghana Health Service
Ghana Health Service

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) Volta Regional Directorate, in collaboration with the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has started a client-centred approach to tackle maternal and infant mortality and morbidity in the Region.

The programme involves skills update for all staff along the service line and re-equipping the facilities with the basic tools.

Beneficiary piloting districts are Ketu-South, Ketu-North and Keta.

Dr Joseph Nuertey, Volta Regional Director of the GHS, told the Physician Assistants group during the second round of training sessions at Aflao on Monday that the irony of a woman going to give life and dying was grossly unpalatable and must stop.

?In exercising his physiological right to make the woman pregnant, the man does not die so why should the woman in the process of giving birth, die? It is not fair,? he stated.

Similar training workshops for four other groupings- Community Health Nurses, Midwives, members of Community Health Committees, (CHC) and Community Health Volunteers (CHV) was going on simultaneously at other venues.

Dr Nuertey said it was particularly sad that many of the deaths were due to causes ?we have control over? and

?We would make a lot of noise to get volunteers to join us tackle the issue?.

He said whereas the Region?s population was 2.3 million, communities served by GHS facilities, 4,170, there were only 446 midwives.

Dr Nuertey therefore urged KOICA to speed up its programmed establishment of a Midwifery Training School at Keta as part of support for improving maternal health in the area.

Currently, there are two other Midwifery Training Schools in the region, Hohoe and Keta-Krachi, whose first graduates are expected out this year.

Dr Nuertey said while there were challenges of low staff strength and lack of logistics, attitudes of professionals along the line represented a really big challenge.

He said it was wrong for a doctor for example to give directions on phone when a cardinal principle in medical practice was observation of clients.

?All of us in the professions are dealing with human lives. We need quality staff, because we need to save lives,? Dr Nuertey stated.

He expressed regret that 2014 maternal death figures in the Region, already recording a half-year figure of 44, might surpass that of 72 in 2013 and warned that the GHS Regional Directorate would sanction facilities with weak maternal health safety measures.

Madam Innocentia Anthonio, a Midwife-Manager said it was important Physician Assistants knew the signs of labour to know what to do.

Ms Faustina Asante, a Midwife and Chief Nursing Officer at the Volta Regional Health Directorate, said the many cases of still births could be a result of poor skills of midwives in resuscitating asphyxiating newborns.

She was taking the Community Health Nurses Group through the state of maternal and child health in the region.

Madam Asante said strengthening adolescent health issues, auditing maternal deaths, improving supervision from the regional level to the peripheries and the institution of midwives forum were some strategies being adopted by the GHS Regional Directorate to tackle maternal and infant mortality and morbidity in the region.

Ms Perfect Tititiati, a Public Health Nurse at Keta said it was not enough just telling pregnant women what to do but also a lot of tracking through home visits needed to be done.

She said it was important health professionals? orientation to client care was persuasive and persistent, noting a client should not go through the full cycle of focused Antenatal Care and yet present with low hemoglobin levels during delivery.

Nathaniel Acolatse, Programme Officer, KOICA Project for Improving Maternal and Child Health in the Volta Region said groundbreaking for the Midwifery Training School at Keta would be by January next year.


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