Simavi, a German non-governmental organisation (NGO) in collaboration with the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) is undertaking a two-year Family Reproductive Health Project (FRHP) at the cost of 100,000 euros in some vulnerable communities in Northern Ghana.
The Project is to among other things collaborate with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and other stakeholders within the communities to improve sexual and reproductive health of the disadvantaged groups, through knowledge sharing, service delivery and advocacy.
Communities will benefit from the Project through local NGOs collaborating with ISODEC in the Bawku and Bongo districts in the Upper East Region, East and West Mamprusi, Saboba districts and the Tamale Metropolis all in the Northern Region.
Mrs Rosemond Kumah, Programmes Coordinator of ISODEC in-charge of Northern Ghana announced this at the inception meeting of the ISODEC/SIMAVI Family Reproductive Health Project (FRHP) in Tamale on Monday, May 28 2007.
She said the Project would also seek to strengthen existing local groups of people living with HIV/AIDS and facilitate the formation of coalitions to advocate the provision of Anti-retroviral drugs in Northern Ghana.
It also seeks to improve the organizational capacity of ISODEC and its partners as well as other stakeholders for effective sexual and reproductive health programme implementation.
Mrs Kumah said ISODEC would place particular emphasis on advocacy around harmful traditional practices that were peculiar to communities and cited examples like Female Genital Mutilation and drugs and herbs used to hasten labour and "dry sex".
Dr Kofi Issah, District Director of Health for Savelugu/Nanton in a presentation made on his behalf said stillbirths were highest in the Northern Region in 2005 with 4.2 per cent of deliveries. In 2006 this reduced to 2 per cent.
In the year 2006, he said, a total of 200 neonatal deaths were recorded (made up of 148 dying within one week of birth and 52 dying between 8-28 days of age).
He said some activities carried out in reproductive and child health in the year 2006 included 45 cases of fistula repairs, 35 midwives trained in neonatal resuscitation, 45 midwives trained in safe motherhood clinical skills and 27 service providers trained on domestic violence.
Emmanuel Kuyole, ISODEC Director of Programmes, said the Centre was strategizing and forming alliances with like-minded organisations to try to influence policy making in favour of women and the vulnerable in society.
Erik Van de Giessen, Senior Project Officer of SIMAVI in-charge of Ghana and Zambia said his organisation was interested in improving on the health conditions of the rural people and in the provision of sanitation facilities.
He said his organisation would continue to partner and give assistance to ISODEC to enable it achieve its objective as long as it utilized the funds for the benefit of the people.