Health News of Thursday, 31 May 2012
Mrs Rosemary Anderson Akolaa, Health Advocacy Manager of Oxfam, has said there was the need for Ministry of Health to empower the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to adopt a Maternal Mortality Model that Oxfam is using to help reduce maternal mortality.
She said this to the GNA at Bolgatanga on Thursday, after donating 200 mobile phones, 1,000 copies of health education booklets and 1,000 posters to Traditional Births Attendants (TBAs), Community Health Committees (CHCs) and GHS, under its Phase II of the Maternal Health Project in the Upper East Region. Mrs Akolaa said the strict application of Oxfam’s Maternal Mortality model would help Ghana to achieve the Millennium Goals of Maternal Mortality within one year.
She explained that under the Model, Oxfam through its partners, Participatory Action for Rural Development Alternatives (PARDA), Integrated Social Development Centre, (ISODEC), Integrated Development and Health Centre; began the Maternal Health Project in six communities in three districts of the Upper East Region in 2010, with the objective of complementing Ghana Health Service at reducing maternal mortality rates.
She said the Project mobilized 105 TBAs and 141 CHCs in the Project implementation areas and built their capacities in advocacy on health rights, awareness creation and campaign on maternal mortality issues, home to home visits, assisting pregnant women to attend health facilities regularly and educating the women on how they could feed on good diets. The Project also provided mobile phones to the TBAs which made it easy and possible for them to reach midwives in times of emergency.
Mrs Akola said through those initiatives carried out by Oxfam and its partners, it had increased facility deliveries since pregnant women are identified and linked to health facilities.
She said there was more community involvement and ownership of the process and this had helped to reduce maternal mortality at Sapeliga and Tanga in the Bawku-West District, Sumbrungu and Zuruangu in the Bolgatanga Municipality and Naaga and Gia in the Kassena-Nankana District.
Mrs Akolaa said the Model was easy to run and less expensive, and that within its first year of implementation, Oxfam spent only 84,000 pounds sterling and would be spending another 100,000 pounds sterling in the second phase which begun this year, and appealed to MOH and GHS to embrace the concept
The Chief of Zuarungu, Naba Charles Ayamga, stressed the need for the project to be scaled up in the other communities in the Region since it had made a significant impact in the area.
Under the Phase II, some of the components of the project would include radio talks, education and drama on maternal health issues, learning and sharing between TBAs and health professionals as well as capacity building for both CHCs and TBAs.**