Mrs Tina Mensah, the Deputy Minister of Health, has advised pregnant women to attend regular antenatal clinics to know their health conditions for medical attention rather than visiting prayer camps.
She said attending antenatal care services was the major means of reducing the rate of maternal mortality and called on stakeholders to encourage and support pregnant women to visit health facilities for the service.
Mrs Mensah gave the advice at a durbar with traditional and opinion leaders in the Ga South Municipality on the Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA).
Ghana is hosting this year’s CARMMA scheduled from Nov 13 to 17, which brings together African Union member states to share experiences in maternal, newborn and child health, and chart the way forward to end preventable, maternal, child and adolescent deaths by the year 2030.
CARMMA was established in 2009, an initiative by the African Union Commission to encourage member states to promote the implementation of the Maputo Plan of Action – put in place viable policy framework for the reduction of maternal, newborn and child mortality and morbidity.
The objective of CARMMA is to expand the availability and use of universally accessible quality health services, including those related to sexual and reproductive health that are critical for the reduction of maternal mortality.
Mrs Mensah noted that though the country had made significant improvement in reducing maternal mortality much was still needed to be done to reduce the rate to the barest minimum.
She reiterated government’s commitment to invest in health care services to drastically reduce maternal and infant mortality rate in the country.
She expressed concern about the way some health practitioners disrespected patients, especially pregnant women, urging them to desist from the behaviour and show love and care to all.
Mrs Mensah commended health professionals, especially midwives, for their contributions towards promoting quality healthcare, family planning, childbirth services and safe delivery in the country to accelerate national development.
Hajia Ridwan Hawa Amoako-Agyei, the President of the National Association of Registered Midwives, said a free screening exercise was organised in the Ga South Municipal Hospital and the Lorry Station to create awareness on maternal mortality.
She said the people were screened on malaria, blood pressure, blood sugar and breast cancer among other diseases.
Hajia Amoako-Agyei said the contribution of midwives to the health needs of Ghanaians was crucial, especially safe pregnancy and delivery, managing minor ailments of the populace and women’s health in general.
She said midwives worked under harsh conditions in deprived communities and appealed to the government to support them with the necessary logistics, including training opportunities to upgrade their knowledge and skills.
Mama Attrato II, Queenmother of Ho-Dome, entreated midwives to be professional in dealing with their clients, develop self-awareness and be guided by the sensitivity of their clients’ health needs.
She appealed to the various metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to support midwives and other health workers posted to their areas with accommodation facilities.