The Minister of Health, Ms Sherry Ayittey on Tuesday said nations grow through innovations introduced into its development agenda.
Ms Ayittey made the remark at the presentation and celebration of African Union Public Service Innovation Awards (AUPSIA).
The AUPSIA was an award that honoured Mrs Cecilia Ampadu Midwifery Officer and a facilitator of the Mother and Child Module Ministry of Health as well as Ms Magdalene Juliet Acquah of Cape Coast Central Hospital for their technological way of providing a metallic adjustable delivery chair.
The chair is to encourage midwifery practitioners to offer more delivery positions and options to their clients in promoting safe delivery.
The awardees were rewarded with a citation, a laptop and some cash while the minister also presented them with a cheque of GHC5,000.00.
Speaking at the ceremony Ms Ayittey said maternal and neonatal death was a big problem in the country which affected not only mothers, sisters and children but also put a major burden on the country’s health services.
She said in an effort to reduce the burden, and put hope in expectant mothers and ensure safety during delivery as well as achieving the Millennium Development Goals four and five, the ministry had made a giant step of providing a comfortable and friendly technology for mothers, sisters and children through the metallic adjustable delivery chair.
“This delivery chair is an innovation because contrary to the conventional method of delivery where mothers in labour are made to lie down, this chair had been designed for women to deliver in both sitting and squatting positions,” she added.
Ms Ayittey noted that Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) in Ghana continue to receive massive patronage even though government policy positively encouraged supervised delivery in health facilities across the country.
“Most TBAs allow women in labour to assume positions that make them most comfortable and easier to push the baby out,” she said.
She said many mothers cited that as a reason for their preference for home deliveries with the TBAs since they adopt a more comfortable and acceptable up-right position.
She observed that the metallic adjustable delivery chairs would facilitate maternal pushing efforts as it assisted gravity, adding, it would also surpass the lithotomic position which was not ideal for babies as the large gravid uterus rests against the major vessels that supplied oxygen.
“After delivery the delivery chair can be adjusted to allow the mother to lie down on her back to rest,” she noted.
The awardees thanked the ministry for the gesture and called for continued support in the health sector.