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Pathfinder contributes to reduction of Maternal Mortality in UER

17 July 2009 | Health

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

of quacks.

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