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11.04.2005 Business & Finance

Gold Fields donate to support safe motherhood

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Accra, April 11, GNA- Gold Fields Ghana, on Monday presented a cheque for 45 million cedis to support a collaborative initiative between the WHO and the University of Ghana Medical School in ensuring that pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood became safer and predictable and not a high risk.

The Metago Environmental Engineers Limited Ghana donated the money through the Gold Fields' Foundation for "Making Pregnancy Safer" initiative.

Mr. Mike Ezan, Executive Director, Gold Fields Ghana, who presented the cheque to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Ghana Medical School, hoped the support would facilitate the field-testing of a special Family Planning Disc, in the Wassa West District.

The special Family Planning Disc was developed by a Ghanaian medical expert to ensure accurate application of Family Planning methods for desired results.

Mr. Ezan said even though improvement of maternal health and reduction in infant mortality was central in the Millennium Development Goal, available statistics of high maternal deaths called for redoubling of efforts to control the trend.

"It is rather unfortunate that Africa still records such high rate of maternal and child deaths," he said.

He said available statistics showed that over 250,000 maternal deaths occur annually in Africa.

Mr. Ezan further indicated that pregnancy related complications were among the top ten diseases in the Wassa West district and called for a stronger partnership with stakeholders to formulate workable strategies to bring down the high rates.

He said Gold Field Ghana, in partnership with the local communities, had started work on various key areas including health, education and income enhancement and alternative livelihood activities in their local catchments communities in the district. He mentioned some of the projects as a donation of 100 million cedis towards the rehabilitation of the orthopaedic unit of the Cape Coast Regional Hospital, the supply of medical equipment worth over three billion cedis and the construction of an ultra modern maternity ward of the Tarkwa Government hospital.

Mr. Ezan called on other companies and organisations to make infant and maternal health a priority on their agenda to prevent the rise in infant and maternal mortality deaths in the country.

Prof Yao Kwawukume, Head of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology, of the Medical School, assured the donors that when the disc proved effective, it would be used for the benefit of every community and district in the country.

He re-echoed the need for partnership in ensuring quality and timely intervention for health care delivery.

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