Bongo District records high antenatal care service

stethoscopeA research conducted on Citizens’ Assessment of the Free Maternal Health Care Initiative in the Bongo District of the Upper East Region in 2012 revealed that access to Antenatal Care (ANC) services is very high.

However supervised delivery remains low.

The research, which was conducted by Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights (ARHR), a non-governmental organisation with support from Mission of Hope, another NGO cited the reasons for the high attendance of pregnant women to health facilities during ANC periods to the free National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) registration for them   to access health facilities free of charge.

“Some of the reasons   why supervised delivery is low are the fact most of the deliveries occur in the nights and mothers claim they have difficulties in getting support to the health centres.

There is no body to accompany them to the health centres. There is also no means of transport to take them there”, the research revealed.

The  findings  presented by  Madam Dela Gle,  Project Manager of ARHR, at a stakeholders workshop said the reasons  for  the low  supervised delivery were due to the  inability of some clients  to  pay for  beds and food and this  scare the expectant women  from patronising  the health centres.

There is also non availability of health staff at post to respond quickly to clients on arrival due to limited midwifes.

The research expressed the need for civil society organisations (CSOs) to support the efforts of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to reach the rural communities in the District with maternal and reproductive health information.

Madam Juliana Amam-erime, District Director of the GHS explained that NHIS demands that all pregnancy cases must be confirmed before the expectant mothers are registered as clients under the policy.

She called for redefinition of the roles of traditional birth attendants to be able to do referral by leading pregnant women to the health centres to deliver.

The District Director mentioned the lack of accommodation, transportation, and inadequate midwifes as some their main challenges hampering maternal health service delivery in the area.

The workshop, which was attended by health service providers, opinion leaders, assembly members, CSOs among others suggested the need for an intensified education to help address the late patronage of ANC services

ARHR had conducted research in the Builsa District of the Region, Agona East and Komenda Edina Eguafo Abirem Districts in the Central Region with funding from Catholic Organisation for Relief & Development Aid of The Netherlands aimed at informing policy makers on how to improve upon health delivery with much emphasis on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5.

Source: GNA

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