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UNDP implements new maternal health project in 25 Ghanaian districts

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stethoscopeThe Government of Ghana, in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), is implementing the Sixth Country Programme (CP6) on maternal health in 25 selected districts nationwide with 11 in the three northern regions.

The programme is geared towards improving maternal health services within these selected districts including Obstetric Fistula and providing a comprehensive sexuality education to young people.

Madam Doris Aglobitse, National Programme Analyst for UNFPA, disclosed this on Thursday at a sensitization workshop for selected media personnel drown from the three northern regions in Tamale.

The two-day workshop also seeks to create a platform for participants to effectively contribute in the publicity, education and advocacy on MDG5 and other issues affecting women and young people.

Under the programme, UNFPA had established a National Media and Communication Advocacy Network (MCAN) to help train and improve the reporting on reproductive health and population related issues by journalists, Madam Aglobitse said.

This, she said, was the core mandate of her outfit.

She said with the successes chalked in the implementation of Fifth Country Programme (CP5), UNFPA intended to expand the MCAN to create awareness on maternal mortality issues.

She indicated that the strategic focus of the programme was to achieve a universal access to sexual and reproductive right to reduce maternal mortality and accelerate progress.

“The things that would improve the lives of men and women include greater gender equality and an enabling environment with focus on women while parents cultivate the habit of giving appropriate sexual and reproductive health education to adolescence,” she said.

She called for a collective effort by all stakeholders, including the media, in nipping in the bud issues that confronted adolescent reproductive health and ultimately reduce maternal mortality to its barest minimum.

Madam Fredrica Hanson, Country Midwifery Advisor of the UNFPA, who spoke extensively on Obstetric Fistula, said the UNFPA was collaborating with the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to highlight the issue of Obstetric Fistula to ensure that victims were treated and reintegrated into society.

She said victims of Obstetric Fistula were usually poor women and girls, often illiterate, who had limited access to health services including maternal and reproductive health care.

The consequences of fistula, she added, were life shattering and invariably left the victims ashamed, ostracized and alone, thus deepening their poverty and magnifying their suffering.

According to her, a centre for the treatment of Obstetric Fistula had been established in Tamale where wounds were healed with the hopes and dignity of women and girls restored through the tireless efforts of dedicated surgeons from the country’s teaching hospitals.

She said to effectively address the issue of Obstetric Fistula, there was the need for all stakeholders, including the media, to act as crusaders to eliminate all reproductive health issues as envisioned in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG 5) which seeks to improve maternal health.

Source: GNA

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