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16.11.2005 Health

Tema Health Directorate takes measures to curb maternal deaths

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Tema, Nov 16, GNA - The Tema Municipal Health Directorate is taking measures to curb the high rate of maternal deaths in the municipality by involving the community to monitor pregnant mothers and offer advice. It intends forming groups comprising opinion leaders and associations in the communities who would ensure that pregnant mothers, especially the under deprived, comply with the instructions of health officers and if possible offer some support for them.

Dubbed the "Sisters Keeper" the Directorate believes that the safe motherhood attempt should be able to bail out their pregnant neighbours from danger.

Dr (Mrs) Ernestina Mensah-Quainoo, Tema Municipal Director of Health, told the GNA in an interview on Tuesday that the Health Directorate was taking these measures to control the high maternal deaths in the municipality,

She said the maternal deaths of 34 between January and September was very high and gave cause for concern. ''Safe motherhood should be the concern of all and this must start from the communities hence the formation of the 'Sister Keeper's' groups.''

Dr Mensah-Quainoo said maternal deaths resulted from bleeding after birth, spinal shock, hypertensive conditions, anaemia, infection from abortion and acute kidney problems. Twenty-five mothers lost their lives through child birth within the same period last year.

She said some of the problems could be averted when instructions were adhered to.

''Sister Keepers team would make sure that expectant mothers take their drugs, attend antenatal clinics and do what is expected of them.'' The Health Director however, complained about shortage of staff in the hospitals with the few being over stretched. On the Maternal Delivery Exemption, Dr Mensah-Quainoo said the privilege was meant solely for expectant mothers who have financial constraints and urged the team to ensure that only such mothers benefit from it.

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