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30.09.2003 Regional News

Maternal death rate increases in Asutifi District

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Dadiesoaba (B/A) Sept. 30, GNA - Asutifi District topped in maternal deaths recorded in Brong-Ahafo last year scooping 39 out of the regional total of 102 cases, representing 38 per cent.

Madam Alice Vorleto, the district's public health nurse, who disclosed this at the launch of this year's Family Planning Life Choices Campaign at Dadiesoaba attributed the rising trend of maternal mortality to the persistent refusal of spouses to adopt family planning methods. Personal interaction and occasional studies conducted among women indicate that superstition about contraception still ranks very high in the district, she said.

The nurse added that health personnel in the district are therefore, compelled to handle teenage pregnancies, stillbirths and unwanted pregnancies that could have been avoided if women had heeded the call to adopt family planning.

Madam Vorleto asked couples to take advantage of family planning facilities in all hospitals, clinics and health posts in the district to avoid unpleasant situations.

She called on farmers to discard the notion that more children meant more labour force on the farm, saying, "Wealth in contemporary world is rather measured in terms of the level of education of the children".

Nana Atta-Mensah, chief of Dadiesoaba, who presided, appealed to the people to give birth to the number of children they could cater for, "since extra children could constitute societal liability".

"What led our ancestors into polygamy and the desire to have many children are no longer relevant since the practice now makes life difficult for our rural people. There is therefore, the need for couples to adopt measures that would help improve their living standards," he said.

The chief explained that since improved health facilities had reduced the infant mortality rate, spouses need to limit the number of births. In an open forum, the people appealed to the Government to reduce the price of contraceptives to enable many couples to use them.

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