MoTECH launches in Gomoa West

Mobile bankingA Mobile Health Technology (MOTECH), an innovation for people to access information on health on mobile phones on pregnancy and babies, has been launched at Dawurampong in the Gomoa West in the Central Region.

Speaking at the function,Mr Theophilus Aidoo-Mensah, Gomoa West District Chief Executive, commended the initiators and the funding partners that include  Grameen Foundation and the Colombia University, the Ghana Health Service, Saving Lives at Birth Initiative, Bill and Belinda Gates Foundation, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Norway Government, Grand Challenges of Canada and the World Bank.

Mr Aidoo-Mensah described the innovation as very useful, saying that it is impacting positively on health delivery in the district.

He said the MOTECH would help the Ghana Health Service to achieve Millennium Development Goals Four and Five, and also assist in data management in the health system.

Ms Karen Romano, Country Director of Grameen Foundation, said mobile technology for community health MOTECH was born from a partnership between Ghana Health Service, Grameen Foundation and Colombia University.

She recalled that in 2009 the Bill and Belinda Gates Foundation provided funding to the partners to test ideas for how the mobile phone could be used to improve maternal and child health in Ghana.

Ms Romano said the partners identified a need for poor rural women to have more accurate health information and the need to simplify how client data is managed at the CHPS facilities who are over-burdened with too many paper client registers.

She said to address these needs the partners developed two services that ran on the mobile phone which are mobile midwife that send voice message in local languages to pregnant women and new mothers with information to help them to take care of their pregnancies and the health of the  infants..

The other is nurses’ application; which nurses can use the mobile phone to enter data on the care they give to patients.

Ms Romano said from January 1,877 pregnant women and 5,831 children under five years had been registered into the MOTECH in Gomoa West.

She said Grameen Foundation was working to assist Gomoa West District Health Management Team (DHMT) to train nurses to use MOTECH.

Dr Yawn Ofori Yeboah, District Director of Health, said Gomoa West was confronted with many health challenges but they needed to pay special attention to pregnant women and children.

He said almost 13 per cent of pregnant women did not attend pre-natal clinic last year, and 46 per cent delivered at home and only 50 per cent of women who delivered at home made use of post-natal services.

Dr Yeboah attributed the causes of the challenges to traditional practices and beliefs which encourage pregnant women to seek healthcare in prayer camps and avoid hospital attendance.

Mr Francis Kojo Arthur, Member of Parliament for Gomoa West, said a plot of land had been acquired for the construction of a polyclinic at Dawurampong.

Obrifo Ahunako Ahor Ankobea 11, Omanhene of Gomoa Akyempim who chaired the function, spoke about the rise in teenage pregnancies in the district and said “it has rendered the future very bleak.”

He said he was contemplating enacting a bye-law to compel parents to exercise control over their children, especially  girls, adding that the law would put a severe sanction on parents whose teenage girls would become pregnant whilst in school.

Source: GNA

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