Basic Needs-Ghana, a Non-Governmental advocacy organization, has presented a total grant of money totaling 34,175 Ghana cedis to 54 pregnant women and mothers of babies less than two years in the Bolgatanga Municipality, Bawku West and Binduri Districts of the Upper East Region.
The grant which was made possible from the Department For the International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom Government (UKaid) under the Maternal Mental Health Project is to support the groups to venture into income generation activities such as shea butter extraction, rice processing, malt processing and other petty trading to help improve upon their livelihoods.
Presenting the cheques to the beneficiary groups at the separate functions in the above mentioned Districts on Saturday and Monday respectively, the Project Officer of Basic Needs –Ghana, Mr Bernard Azure, explained that the five year Maternal Mental Health project had among its aims to help enhance Maternal Mental Health of 29,520 pregnant women and mothers and their children to realize maternal and child health in Ghana .
The Project Officer who mentioned that the project implementation had already begun yielding some positive results said the main target of the project was to enhance Maternal Mental Health of pregnant women and mothers in five selected regions in the country.
Mr Azure who mentioned the beneficiary regions as the Upper East, Upper West, Brong Ahafo, Northern Region and the Greater Accra, stated that the project was expected to support the livelihoods of the poor and the vulnerable pregnant women and new mothers with mental issues.
The Project Officer further mentioned that the project as part of its implementation processes had also offered training to Traditional Birth Attendants to refer pregnant women who were at risk and complications during pregnancies to the appropriate health facilities for delivery.
“Additionally the project has also engaged Regional and District Mental Health Coordinators including Mental Health Alliance, the Media and some key duty bearers of the Municipal and District Assemblies all geared towards ensuring effective implementation of the project”, the Project Officer indicated.
He mentioned Gub-Katimali Society (GKS), Centre for People’s Empowerment and Rights Initiatives (CPRI) and Mission of Hope for Society International Foundation (MIHOSO) as some of the implementing partners of the project across the 74 districts in the above-mentioned regions.
The outcome of the Project, he explained was to ensure that poor and vulnerable pregnant women and mothers (and their children) in the target districts in Ghana have improved mental health and livelihoods, strengthening the capacity of existing facility and community-based MCH and psychiatric health staff to deliver a ‘Stepped care intervention for maternal mental health care’ model.
“ It is also to help improve access to quality and appropriate maternal and child health services to target women and their children, enabling especially vulnerable pregnant women and mothers to participate in income generation activities as well as help improve access to knowledge for target women related to effective and safe birth and childcare ”, he stressed.
Most of the beneficiaries who received the grants expressed their gratefulness to the donor and implementing partners and pledged to put the grant into good use to help improve upon their livelihoods.