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Health News of Saturday, 16 February 2008

Source: GNA

Traditional birth attendants advised to refer serious cases

Nkoranza (B/A), Feb. 16, GNA - Mr. Richard Kwasi Hinneh, Nkoranza District Director of Health Services, has advised traditional birth attendants to refer cases beyond their competence early enough to hospitals to prevent maternal and infant mortality.

He also urged them not to encourage pregnant teenagers as well as women above the age of 35 to deliver at home as such persons needed the attention of doctors and nurses during delivery.

The district director was addressing about 60 birth attendants drawn from selected communities in the district at a day's sensitization workshop on the New Born Home Intervention Study programme at Nkoranza, aimed at promoting safe deliveries in the traditional homes.

The programme, under the auspices of the World Health Organisation, was to ensure that pregnant women take great care of their health and that of their unborn babies and a reduction in infant and maternal mortality.

Mr. Hinneh expressed regret about how a number of children die in the first year of birth, which he attributed to improper ways that some parents handled their babies at home.

He stressed the need for pregnant women to attach great importance to their attendance at antenatal clinics so they could receive the necessary education and attention about their own welfare and their babies.

Mr. Thomas Kwasi Gyan, a research officer at Kintampo research center and a facilitator, called on the traditional birth attendants to keep all their working tools and materials in a very safe and clean container to check against their contamination. He said since the majority of women still patronized home deliveries it was very important for the attendants to provide decent environment for their clients to promote safe deliveries. Mr. Gyan asked them to use fresh blades to cut the umbilical cords of newly born babies to check against tetanus infection and to regularly visit their clients to offer necessary education on good practices to enhance the health of the babies. In an open forum the attendants complained that a major challenge that faced them was the refusal of some pregnant women to seek assistance or advice from them until the day of delivery or when they encounter complications.

"Some unregistered birth attendants also practise in the communities and because they lack the requisite knowledge and skills they still apply outmoded practices to the detriment of the health of the women", they said.

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