ASUDEV launches $160,000 project to help fight maternal mortality in UWR
Action for Sustainable Development (ASUDEV), a local NGO, has launched a $160,000 project to help fight maternal mortality in four districts of the Upper West Region.
The two-year maternal and neonatal health advocacy project; dubbed “Save our Mothers Platform (SOMP) II” project is being funded by Star Ghana and its partners.
The beneficiary districts are Sissala East, Sissala West, Lambussie-Karni and Nadowli.
Speaking at the launch of the project in Tumu in the Sissala East District on Saturday, Mr. Osman Luriwie Kanton, Executive Director of ASUDEV, said the project would contribute to increase knowledge and active participation of community health committees, traditional leaders and adolescent girls in promoting maternal and neonatal health issues.
The intervention is also expected to contribute towards efforts geared at achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) four and five.
Mr. Kanton said the $160,000 would be invested in various areas of interventions including small scale research, community and radio sensitization, support for community initiatives and training and mobilization of community health structures among others.
“The gravity and complexities of the health problem in Ghana are such that there must be a concerted effort, a shared responsibility and a proactive and disciplined attitude by all in order to be able to surmount them for the good of the nation”, he stated.
In this regard, Mr. Kanton said ASUDEV would engage various stakeholders such as the District Assemblies, the Ghana Health Service and other health service providers, traditional authorities and community members all in the spirit and interest of contributing to improved maternal health delivery in the four beneficiary districts.
Mr. Alex Bapula, the Sissala East District Director of Health Services, delivered a presentation on the situation of maternal health in the Upper West Region on behalf of the Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Alexis Nang-beifubah.
He said the region had been recording a dwindling maternal health ratio over the years with the current one standing 182 per 1,000 live births.
He identified excessive bleeding, infection, rupture of the uterus, hypertension and unsafe abortion as the major and direct causes of maternal deaths in the region.
Mr. Bapula described the situation of Midwives in the Sissala East District as appalling, saying the district currently had only six midwives out of which five were active but were all stationed at the district capital to the detriment of the six other sub-districts.
He said the district had no functional ambulance for referral of emergency cases, adding that the ambulance allocated to the district by the National Ambulance Service including that of the hospital itself had all broken down.
According to him, the district sometimes used pick-up vehicles to carry emergency cases but this was very risky especially for women with complicated deliveries.
He appealed for more midwives to be posted to the district and also the immediate fixing of the two ambulances to help save lives.