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22.11.2005 Health

Traditional rulers urged to mount education on maternal health

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Sekondi Nov 22, GNA - Madam Sophia Horner-Sam, Deputy Western Regional Minister, on Monday called on Queenmothers and traditional rulers to join hands with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to find a solution to the high rate of teenage pregnancy and maternal mortality in the region. She made the call at a forum on Safe Motherhood for Queenmothers and Market Queens organised by the National Council on Women and Development (NCWD) and the GHS in Sekondi under the theme, "Make Every Woman and Child Count".

Madam Horner-Sam pointed out that traditional rulers and Market Queens had a role to play in educating girls on the implications of early pregnancy, abortion and failure to attend ante-natal clinic during pregnancy.

She urged Queen mothers to organise forums in their communities to educate young girls on these and other health issues as well as the need for them to dress decently and their relationship with males. Madam Horner-Sam advised parents to ensure that their female children dressed properly to check unwanted pregnancies and to discourage them from unorthodox methods of abortion.

She asked parents discourage their children from watching violent films and from adopting foreign cultures.

Dr Linda Vanotoo, Deputy Regional Director of GHS, said the region recorded 53 maternal deaths from January to June this year, adding that, 70 was recorded in 2004, 82 in 2003, 92 in 2002 and 87 in 2001. She advised pregnant women to attend hospital before and after delivery 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, Principal Nursing Officer, urged Churches to assist in educating pregnant women on the need to attend hospitals and against teenage pregnancy.