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18.11.2005 Health

Queen mothers urged to educate women on maternal health

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Sekondi, Nov. 18, GNA - Madam Sophia Horner-Sam, Deputy Western Regional Minister, on Thursday called on Queen mothers and traditional rulers to collaborate with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to solve the high rate of teenage pregnancy and maternal mortality in the region. She made the call at a forum on Safe Motherhood for Queen mothers and market queens organised by the National Council on Women and Development (NCWD) and the GHS at Sekondi.

The forum was under the theme "Make Every Woman and Child Count". Madam Horner-Sam said traditional rulers and market queens had a role to play in the education of the girl-child on the implications of early pregnancy, abortion and failure to attend antenatal clinic and hospital when pregnant.

She asked Queen mothers to organise forums in their communities to educate young girls on these and other health issues as well as their mode of dressing and relationship with men.

Madam Horner-Sam advised parents to ensure that women among their children dress decently to check unwanted pregnancy and discourage them from using unorthodox methods to abort pregnancy. She said some parents buy violent video films for their children to watch at home and this encouraged the children to be violent and adopt foreign culture.

Madam Horner-Sam said politics had nothing to do with health issues and should be approached with critical attention.

Dr Linda Vanotoo, Deputy Western Regional Director of GHS, said the region recorded 53 maternal deaths from January to June this year. She said 70 maternal deaths were recorded in 2004, 82 in 2003, 92 in 2002 and 87 in 2001.

Dr Vanotoo advised pregnant women to attend hospital before and after delivery to ensure good health.

She said regular attendance at hospitals during pregnancy would help prevent complications such as hypertension, diabetes and tetanus. Dr Vanotoo said pregnant women should at least attend antenatal clinic four times before delivery to check malaria that could affect the baby in the womb.

Mrs Joana Adusei-Poku, a Principal Nursing Officer, urged the churches to assist in educating pregnant women on the need to attend hospitals and the youth against teenage pregnancy. She spoke against delivery at home prevent complications.