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20.03.2009 Health

Safe motherhood a must for Ghana


Dr Mrs Linda Vanotoo, Western Regional Director of Health Services has noted that maternal and newborn deaths still remains a challenge to the service.

She said the Millennium Development Goal four will not be achieved unless there is a considerable reduction in these deaths.

Dr Vanotoo was speaking at the first Maternal, Newborn and Child Care Conference for health care providers and its stakeholders in the Western Region at Takoradi.

The objective of the conference was to develop strategies for implementation of proven cost effective interventions to reduce maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality to help achieve Millennium Development Goal four and five.

Also, it is for stakeholders in the health sector to share best practices that contribute to improvement of maternal and newborn care.

She said 17,584 neonatal deaths occur annually in the country.

She said the Ghana Health Service is doing all it can to provide antenatal care to improve the health of mother and baby and strengthen community structures to support safe pregnancy.

Dr Vanotoo explained that antenatal care is a platform for stronger links between mothers and service providers during and after child birth.

According to her, complications of child birth can not be predicted and encouraged midwives to attend to mothers' individually after delivery.

“Midwives and other professionals with midwifery skills can avert, contain or solve many life threatening problems that may arise during child birth,” she said.

Mrs. Gladys Brew, Save Motherhood Programme Officer of Family Health Division of the Ghana Health Services explained that bleeding, infections anaemia, hypertension, obstructed labour and unsafe abortions are some of the causes of maternal death.

She added that breathing difficulties, infections and premature birth are the major causes of newborn deaths.

She said there is the need to increase coverage of skilled attendance during pregnancy, child birth and postnatal period at all levels of the health delivery system.