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21.07.2005 Health

DDHS expresses concern about older women giving birth

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Juaso (Ash), July 21, GNA - Dr Franklin Asiedu Bekoe, the Asante-Akim South District Director of Health Services, has expressed concern about the rate at which women above 35 years were still giving birth in the district.

He described the situation as not suitable for the health of both the mothers and the babies.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency on the health situation of women, especially pregnant women in the district at Juaso, Dr Bekoe said about 23.5 per cent of women who delivered at the various health facilities in the district last year were above 35 years. Another worrying factor, he said, was the fact that Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) delivered about 58 per cent of children in the district due to the inability of pregnant women to attend hospitals, clinics and health centres as a result of transportation difficulties. Dr Bekoe said most pregnant women in the villages in the district were compelled to rely on TBAs since the means of transport to health facilities had always been a problem.

He explained that there were villages where the only vehicle that conveys the people to the urban centres makes the journey once a day and as such any pregnant woman who is in labour after the vehicle had left, has no other option than to rely on a TBA.

In view of this situation, Dr Bekoe said the district health directorate had been upgrading the knowledge and skills of the TBAs in order to reduce the child mortality rate in the district. Ideally, he said, about 25 per cent of mothers in their fertile ages must have access to family planning counselling with at least 60 per cent of child delivery supervised by skilled health personnel but regretted that the situation in the district was hampering the realisation of that vision.

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