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Health News of Friday, 11 May 2018

Source: Starrfmonline.com

PARDA nominates two health centres in Talensi for polyclinic status

Regional Health Director, Dr. Wildred Ofosu advises mother against 'bottle-feeding' their babies

The Participatory Action for Rural Development Alternatives (PARDA) is seriously pressing a case to have two health centres in the Talensi District of the Upper East region turned into polyclinics.

The two health facilities— the Namolgo Health Centre, which serves about 50,000 people, and the Gorigo Health Centre, patronised by an estimated 30,000 people— are miles apart and have what PARDA, a non-governmental organisation, believes are the makings of a polyclinic.

“The Regional Director of Health Services, the District Director of Health Services, please, we are praying you: can you make this facility a polyclinic? We have a maternity block. We have an OPD (Outpatient Department). We have a laboratory. We have a record centre. We have an emergency centre. We have wards. We have a dispensary. And we have bungalows for staff and still counting.

“Can you make this facility a polyclinic? It is our appeal and I have just encouraged the chief and people of Namolgo and its environs to appeal to you so that you can make this place a centre of excellence by promoting it to the status of a polyclinic. It is our appeal and we know you can do it,” said PARDA’s Executive Director, Dr. Michael Wombeogo.

The request came up at a durbar of stakeholders organised for a maternity block provided by PARDA with support from its donor partners, Oxfam in Ghana and Klub Austria, to be officially handed over to the Namolgo Health Centre, a health station managed by the Presbyterian Primary Healthcare Services.

Dr. Wombeogo repeated the plea in front of another crowd hours later when his outfit handed over another maternity block to state-owned Gorigo Health Centre in the same district. It cost PARDA and its partners GH¢445, 250 to construct and to fully equip each of the maternity blocks.

Sanctions for Husbands who oppose Skilled Delivery

Maternal health campaign in the region, where 33 women died in 2016 and 44 perished in 2017 during child delivery, is confronted with some men who strongly taboo their wives from patronising antenatal care and skilled delivery services.

Such men hold a cultural belief that children who receive a clinic or hospital attention do not live to a ripe old age.

Opposed to that belief, Dr. Wombeogo wrapped up his speech with a strong proposal for traditional authorities to sanction men who try to keep their pregnant wives away from health facilities.

“I want to encourage the pregnant women that nobody should deliver at home. And I’m entreating the chiefs, elders and opinion leaders not to allow your wives, your daughters-in-law to deliver at home. And anybody who prevents the wife from coming for antenatal care or for skilled delivery will be sanctioned by the chiefs,” he stated.



Don’t feed babies from bottles; feed them from breasts— Reg. Health Director

Responding to PARDA’s polyclinic-status proposal for the two health centres, the Upper East Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Wilfred Ofosu, said the upgrade being sought would be determined by the level of patronage of the health facilities by the communities.

“It would depend on the patronage of the place,” he said at Namolgo. “When we see the health statistics that we are using it, the attendance, then we would add more staff, make sure that we have all the requisite professionals that would enable us to upgrade the [facility]. So, if you want this place to become a polyclinic, then, please, all the pregnant women, use the place.”

Whilst addressing a durbar crowd at Gorigo later, Dr. Ofosu cautioned members of the community against bottle-feeding their babies in preference to breastfeeding them.

“These days, you have television showing a lot of images with women feeding babies with bottles and others. Don’t copy that. The best food for the children is the breast milk. Let’s make sure we feed our children with breast milk and let’s make sure that we take them to the clinic to be vaccinated,” the Regional Director advised.

No woman died during delivery in Talensi in 2017— GHS hails PARDA, Partners

Making a speech at the two durbars, the Country Director of Oxfam in Ghana, Tijani Ahmed Hamza, declared it was possible for any community in the country to record zero maternal death so long as all stakeholders were committed to the maternal health campaign.

“Everyone should have a commitment that we should have zero maternal death. For us as an organisation, we are just appealing to people to see how lessons can be drawn from the experiences of PARDA in partnership with the stakeholders here so that whatever that they have done to ensure zero maternal death may happen not only in the Upper East region but also in the whole of the country,” the Country Director added.

The Administrative Manager of the Talensi District Health Directorate, Madam Saratu Adamu, patted PARDA and its partners on their backs for “being of immense support” with equipment, vehicles as well as call-credit cards to several health facilities in the district. The district, according to her, had zero maternal death in 2017— an achievement to which she said PARDA and its allies contributed.

“As we gather here today to commission these maternity blocks, it will go a long way to improve on maternal services and outcomes as pregnant women need not travel long distances for deliveries,” said the Administrative Manager who also appealed to PARDA and its partners to go to the rescue of some other deprived facilities in the district, “especially the Tolla CHPS Compound”.