Bolgatanga, July 16, GNA – The Upper East Regional Directorate of Health
Services has commended Pathfinder International-Ghana for its role in reducing
Maternal Mortality and improving the health of women in the region.
“Maternal Mortality is a priority in this region and you have collaborated
efficiently with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to reduce the numbers of
unsafe abortions and deaths resulting from the use of unorthodox methods to
abort pregnancies”, Dr. James Akpablie, Deputy Regional Director of Health
Services said on Wednesday.
The Deputy Director was speaking at a review meeting of Pathfinder
International-Ghana, an NGO working to improve the reproductive health of
women, men and adolescents. The meeting was held with its collaborators,
Personnel of the GHS, to discuss the activities carried out in the past three
years on the project dubbed, 'Comprehensive Abortion Care', which is to end
in August this year.
He said even though a scientific study on the impact of the project had not
been carried out, statistics gathered from the entire region indicated that since
Pathfinder started its activities in the year 2006, Maternal Mortality had
decreased from 43 deaths to 29 in 2007 and further to 27 deaths in 2008.
He noted that unsafe abortions were responsible for about 11.7 per cent of
all maternal deaths in the region and that had drastically reduced.
The Region has a Maternal and Mortality rate record of 137 per 100,000
live births, he added.
Dr. Akpablie explained that the NGO had increased its Comprehensive
Abortion Care (CAC) services to those who really needed it, reaching out to
young women, counselling and guiding them to make their own choices
regarding their Reproductive Health.
He urged the nurses and Midwives working with Pathfinder to take the
Reproductive Health of adolescents seriously and to devote time to counselling
their clients and, where necessary, guide them to have safe abortion care and
Family Planning Services.
He expressed regret that some young women were taking advantage of the
availability of the drug Cytotech meant for the treatment of stomach ulcers but
has a side-effect of causing miscarriage, to cause abortion. “They try it on
themselves, and sometimes end up with incomplete abortion that could be
dangerous to their health,” he said.
The Deputy Director therefore called on the Food and Drugs Board to
regulate the sale of that drug in the local chemist shops, as it is not supposed to
be sold over the counter.
The participants, mainly Nurses and Midwives, said many young women
were not interested in using Family Planning (FP) Methods with the excuse of
experiencing side effects, especially that of infertility which they fear might
result from the long use of family planning.
Pathfinder, in collaboration with GHS, is working to ensure that women
have safe abortion, prevent unwanted pregnancies, post abortion care, take to
family planning, and seek health services from trained Health Personnel instead