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06.09.2005 Health

GHS records more deaths from childbirth

GNA

Accra, Sept. 6, GNA - Five hundred deaths was recorded from January to June 2005 from child birth, pregnancy and its related complications, Dr Henrietta Odoi-Agyarko, Head of the Reproductive and Child Health Care of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), said in Accra on Tuesday. Speaking at GHS's monthly health promotion talk on the theme: "Safe Motherhood", Dr Odoi-Agyarko said the 824 deaths recorded in 2004 did not include those that occurred in homes, shrines, churches and the private hospitals that did not provide routine information to the GHS and the Ministry of Health.

She said 12,000 women were likely to die by 2015 if prompt attention was not paid to addressing problems causing preventable deaths through pregnancy and its related complications.

She attributed the deaths to delay in recognising danger signs during pregnancy; delivery and after delivery; delays in reaching health facilities and delayed attention at the health facilities. "Compounding all these delays is the fact that some women are having too many children and at very close intervals. Their inability to access appropriate modern family planning methods leading to termination of pregnancies through unhygienic and dangerous methods leading to deaths and disability", she said.

Dr Odoi-Agyarko said though a lot of interventions had been put in place by GHS and the Ministry of Health, motherhood was still not safe and called on pregnant women to be regular at ante-natal clinics, eat balanced diet, have enough rest, make preparations for birth and complications should they occur.

She called on husbands to also be abreast with the danger signs associated with pregnancy and to assist their wives to make effective decisions.

She called on communities, churches and individuals to help raise awareness, encourage communities to create emergency transportation plans for emergencies to enhance referrals from the community and health facilities.

Dr Sam Adjei, Deputy Director-General of GHS, who presided, said women played a vital role in the development of the nation and, therefore, their health should be of paramount importance to all. He said ignorance, poverty and socio-economic development also accounted for the deaths of women in pregnancy and called on the Government and individuals to help raise the living standards of women. He encouraged women to adopt the use of family planning and space their births to ensure the good health of the mother and child.

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