Oxfam Maternal and Infant Mortality Project commended
8/3/2012 12:30:17 PM -
Sumbrungu (U/E), Aug 2, GNA - The Chief and Elders of the Sumbrungu Community in the Bolgatanga Municipality of the Upper East Region have commended Oxfam Maternal Mortality Project for increasing supervised delivery at health facilities.
The Chief, Naba Clement Aberese, gave the commendation during the visit of a team of Oxfam Staff and the implementing Staff of Participatory Action for Rural Development Alternatives (PARDA) to Sumbrungu to assess the level of the project and a durdar was organized to receive them.
The Chief explained that hitherto majority of women did not want to deliver at health facilities because of certain cultural beliefs and this often resulted into maternal deaths.
'The introduction of the project in my traditional area has helped to reverse the trend. Now majority of women go to deliver at health facilities. They also go for antenatal visits and attend health facilities with their newborn babies," he said.
He said the project, which began in 2011, is being implemented in six communities in three districts of the Upper East Region.
They include Sumbrungu, Zaurungu in the Bolgatanga Municipality, Naaga and Gia in the Kassena Nankana East District and Tanga and Sepeliga in the Bawku West District. Naba Aberese impressed upon Oxfam and PARDA to extend the project to cover more communities in Sumbrungu to make a more meaningful impact in the traditional area.
Mr Mamadu Bitiyi, West Africa Regional Director of Oxfam, expressed gratitude of the impact of the project and commended the Ghana Health Service, PARDA, and the community members for working effectively to ensure that the project achieved its desired results.
He impressed upon the women not to only visit health facilities to deliver but to also ensure that they send their newly born babies for constant checkups at the area to help curb infant mortality.
Dr Michael Wombeogo, Director PARDA, said the project, which is currently in a second phase, would run till March 2013 and indicated that the main aim of the project was to add value to maternal and child health care and services in the region with focus on target communities mentioned.
Dr Wombeogo said the project had identified and trained traditional birth attendants (TBAs) and formed Community Health Committees (CHCs) in the project implementation areas and that Sapeliga had 19 TBAs, Tanga had 25, Sumbrungu, 28, Naaga, 26, and Gia, 27.
There are also trained members of the CHC with 20 in Tanga, 24 for Sapeliga, 37 for Zuarungu, 48 for Sumbrungu and 29 for Naaga.
All these groups received capacity building and training in the area of safe motherhood, antenatal care, complication and referrals advocacy and exchanging learning between TBAs and GHS Staff.
Dr Wombeogo stated that all the efforts put in place by the project had led to increase in skill delivery and mentioned that between 2010 to 2011 skilled deliveries rose from 329 to 355 at Sapeliga, 24 to 156 at Tanga, 188 to 191 at Zuarungu, 154 to 245 at Sumbrungu , 77 to 91 at Naaga and 17 to 78 at Gia .
'The CHCS of Tanga through the Assembly had lobbied for the construction of a borehole for the Tanga Health Centre. The construction is being sponsored by World Vision. They have also lobbied for the construction of a labour room and the provision of skilled health attendance to commence skill deliveries at the centre.
Sepeliga CHCs had also lobbied the traditional authorities to promote antenatal and overall maternal health care and encouraged the TBAs, CHCs and the health staff to perform their duties deligently.