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Health News of Tuesday, 27 November 2018


UNICEF tours MBFHI beneficiary health facilities in Bongo

Staff of the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) at the weekend visited health facilities implementing the Mother-Baby Friendly Health Initiative (MBFHI) programme in the Bongo District.

The MBFHI project is a two-year project being jointly implemented by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Integrated Youth Needs and Welfare (INTYON) with funding support from the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The initiative being piloted in the Bolgatanga and Bawku Municipalities, and the Bongo and Kassena-Nankana West Districts were aimed to advocate early breastfeeding within 30 minutes after birth, promote exclusive breastfeeding, and ensure the well being of the lactating mothers and their babies.

The project further aimed among other things to strengthen the leadership and collaboration for maternal and newborn health service, exclusive breastfeeding, birth certificate registration, as well as improve facility-based quality of care for both mother and baby.

The team, including Dr Stefan Peterson, the Associate Director of Health Programme Division of the United Nations Children’s Fund, visited the Bongo District Hospital, the Namoo Health Centre and the Adaboya Outreach facility to assess the achievements of the project for the past years.

Ms Rosemond Azure, the District Director of Health Service in-charge of Bongo, mentioned that the project had contributed significantly to improve on the quality of healthcare on newly born babies and their mothers in the District.
The Bongo District is the only district that has recorded zero maternal mortality from January to November 2018, with 1,149 deliveries, she added.

District Director of Health Service in-charge of Bongo, Ms Rosemond Azure

Ms Azure added that the District Hospital has nine tricycle ambulances, which were donated by the Korean Government through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to improve on the quality deliveries of babies and ensure mothers’ wellbeing, while UNICEF provided capacity building training for the midwives in the District.

This, she indicated, had enabled the midwives to skilfully deliver pregnant women and assist them to breastfeed their children within 30 minutes after delivery.

Dr William Gudu, the Medical Superintendent of the Bongo District Hospital, explained that the New Born Unit created by UNICEF two years ago had helped to save lives of babies, especially those who weighed below the normal mass, adding “some babies weigh as low as 0.7 kilograms”.

Dr Gudu attributed the zero maternal mortality death recorded in the District to effective teamwork and collaboration from major stakeholders and urged the health personnel to continue to work with a sense of professionalism.

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