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18.03.2006 Regional News

Asante-Mampong queenmothers urged to help to reduce maternal deaths

By GNA

Mampong (Ash), March 18, GNA - Madam Rebecca Dokurugu, acting Sekyere West District Director of Health Services, has urged Queenmothers in the Asante-Mampong Traditional Area to support health authorities to reduce maternal health problems. She said, one way they could effectively do this was for them to impress upon local authorities to show high-level political commitment to maternal health problems.

According to her, political will to reduce maternal deaths was critical, "since maternal mortality requires a sustained commitment of funds, infrastructure development and appropriate policies". Madam Dokurugu stated this, when she addressed a "Saving Women and Newborn Lives" sensitisation meeting organised for members of the Asante-Mampong Queenmothers Association at the weekend. She told the queenmothers that the provision of more resources for maternal health issues would be most effective, as part of a comprehensive effort to strengthen the entire health sector. She said as part of global efforts to reduce the unacceptably high maternal deaths in developing countries, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has made "Saving Women and Newborn Lives" its top priority for this year. She indicated that the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing maternal mortality ratio by three quarters by 2012 would only be achievable with the support of all stakeholders, including the queenmothers.

The acting District Director of Health Services noted that records at the Mampong Hospital for 2005 indicated that maternal health complication was next to malaria for out-patients attendance and admissions. Madam Dokurugu urged the queenmothers to work towards eradicating harmful cultural practices-related to gender and reproduction sex, promote the health of women and children in their communities and help create employment opportunities for women.

Dr Emmanuel Ahiable, the Medical Superintendent of the Mampong Government Hospital, who spoke on "The Three Delays and the Danger Signs of Pregnancy", said evidence showed that about 15 per cent of all pregnancies resulted in complications. He, however, said it remained almost impossible to predict which individual woman would develop complications, stressing the need for pregnant women to make good use of the free delivery services provided in public health institutions. Dr Ahiable appealed to the queenmothers to join hands with the district health authorities to address the acute shortage of doctors and other health professionals in the district.

Nana Agyakoma Dufie, the Mamponghemaa, pledged the support of queenmothers in the traditional area in addressing the problems of maternal health issues. She also appealed to locally trained health professionals, especially doctors and nurses to stay at home to serve the nation.

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