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27.09.2013 General News

Workshop on maternal health ends in Accra

By Daily Graphic
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Communication and advocacy activists from Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Malawi and Tanzania attended the workshop.

The agenda for the workshop was to examine the impact of the campaign.

The participants shared success stories of strategies and techniques that had brought maternal and newborn health issues to the attention of policy makers and the general public.

Such intervention is crucial in Ghana for meeting the 2015 deadline for Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5.

The team members received extensive training in the use of evidence in advocacy campaign messaging, effective storytelling and digital media techniques.

At the end of the training, they were unanimous that they had been well equipped to continue their rigorous effort to save mothers and babies.

Accordingly, they expressed their commitment to ensure that many more mothers and babies survived pregnancy-related complications.

The Director of Advocacy International, Dr Ann Pettifor, who was the main facilitator, said bringing all the teams together was valuable because the workshop offered activists from all participating countries a common platform to share ideas and strengthen advocacy efforts across the board.

'We must use evidence to bring about a transformation in the life-chances of African women and their babies. We must use evidence to persuade the politician, journalist, opinion leader, health worker of the urgency of our mission,' she urged.

Dr Pettifor urged the MamaYe communication and advocacy teams to celebrate people who are doing exceptional work to promote maternal and newborn survival across the continent and to encourage others to do same.

Statistics from the World Health Organisation indicate that although Ghana's maternal mortality has declined by 44 per cent since 1990, the current rate of 350 deaths per 100,000 live births is still very high.

To make matters worse, 29 newborns per 1,000 live births die every year which is an avoidable situation.

The crisis of low rates of maternal and newborn survival is no different in Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Tanzania where the mortality rates are comparable to or worse than Ghana's.

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