Professor Saa Dittoh, Board Member of the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC), has cautioned families against the performance of traditional sacrifices for pregnant women as means of ensuring safe child delivery.
He said such practices delayed seeking of adequate healthcare by pregnant women, which led to complications during child delivery, causing preventable deaths.
Prof Dittoh gave the caution at Salaga on Thursday when he launched the ?Tackling Accountable Reproductive Health Delivery? through strengthened Advocacy project being implemented by ISODEC, a non-governmental organization with support from STAR ? Ghana, a multi-donor pooled funding agency.
The two-year project, being implemented in five districts including Bolgatanga Municipal, Bawku West, Binduri, East Gonja and Bunkpurugu Yunyoo, uses a web-based citizen complaints and resolution tracking system which seeks to improve quality, transparency and accountability in the health delivery system.
The primary aim of the project is to strengthen the capacity of citizens to demand quality, accessible and transparent services and also empower them (citizens) to have a better voice in health service delivery.
Prof Dittoh said even though such practices were reducing amongst some communities in northern Ghana, the rate of the decline was still low, citing Karieso in the East Gonja District as one of the communities where the practice was high.
He said people must see pregnancy as purely a health issue and seek early medical attention instead of resorting to traditional sacrifices, which only served to worsen the health status of the pregnant woman.
He was not happy that at this stage of the country?s development, pregnant women should die through child birth and called for dialogue with family leaders in those communities to desist from the practice and immediately send their pregnant women to hospitals for medical care.
He said ?ISODEC believes that every life is important? hence the initiative to ensure quality, accessible and transparent health service delivery to amongst others help in achieving the Millennium Development Goals on maternal mortality.
Alhaji A.B.A Fuseini, Deputy Northern Regional Minister, who read a speech on behalf of the Northern Regional Minister, described the initiative as laudable saying its objectives were in line with government?s commitment ?to provide access to health care services and to ensure that quality health care needs of the people are met.?
The Minister said the government had channeled resources into health sector in the form of provision of infrastructure, such as polyclinics, upgrading of health centres to hospitals, building of maternity wards, CHPS Compounds, expansion and extension of health facilities across the country to ensure quality health care delivery to all.
Mr Isaac Lartey, Northern Regional Health Information Officer, said the inadequate human resource situation in the Region, especially doctors and nurses, coupled with very few good conditioned motorbikes affected delivery of quality health care to the people.
Mr Lartey said ISODEC?s initiative would not only find gaps in client satisfaction but also help outline infrastructural and logistics need that would holistically lead to accessible, accountable and transparent health care for all.