The Akateng Maternity Waiting House
The Akateng Maternity Waiting House

Akateng gets maternity waiting house

The Japanese Organisation for International Cooperation for Family Planning (JOICFP), an International non-governmental organisation, has built a maternity waiting house for pregnant women at Akateng, a fishing community in the Upper Manya Krobo District in the Eastern Region. 


The facility, which was handed over to the Ghana Health Service (GHS) at a ceremony at Akateng, is the first of its kind in the country and has 10 beds, a kitchen, places of convenience among others and was sponsored by SHIONOGI Pharmaceuticals, a Pharmaceutical Company in Japan.

Necessary intervention

The Medical Superintendent of the Asesewa Government Hospital, Dr Theodore Dorvlo, in a welcome address, mentioned high traditional birth attendance delivery, low skilled delivery, high still birth rate, high infant mortality rate, high under five mortality rate and a low post natal care attendance within the first 48 hours after delivery among others as some of the health related challenges in the Upper Manya Krobo District which necessitated various intentions including the building of the maternity waiting house by SHIONOGI and JOICFP.

He said the solutions to those challenges were diverse and the GHS had implemented several of those solutions in the district over the years, however, one intervention that could significantly alleviate the challenges outlined which had not been implemented so far was to provide a “home away from home” for pregnant women and their families residing in hard-to-reach areas and communities beyond the Volta River to lodge as their time of delivery approached.

He stressed: “These pregnant women will then have access to skilled delivery at the Akateng Health Centre or other health centres in the Upper Manya Krobo District. Alternatively, pregnant women may also deliver at the Asesewa Government Hospital which serves as a referral centre for all the health centres in the district”.

In an address, Kumiko Masuda who represented SHIONOGI noted that the company’s Mother to Mother Project supports children and mothers and strives constantly to supply the best possible healthcare solutions to protect the health and well-being of the patients they served.

She said to build a sustainable society, it was necessary to create a favourable environment for the next generation of children to grow healthy, adding that the “Mother to Mother SHIONOGI Project” aimed to achieve universal health coverage by protecting pregnant women and children under five years from preventive death and by strengthening health systems”.

Etsuko Yamaguchi, a representative for JOICFP, in her remarks, said apart from improving accessibility and availability of quality health services including the establishment of the maternity waiting house, the project’s main strategy was community empowerment including capacity enhancement of community health volunteers among others.

Deprived district

The Eastern Regional Director of GHS, Dr Winfred Ofosu, said the Upper Manya Krobo District although close to the regional capital, Koforidua, was one of the deprived districts in terms of basic infrastructure, inadequate number of health facilities, and that as part of the population were resident in the island communities of the Volta Lake, hence the choice of the district was more appropriate considering its depravity and poor access as well as the utilisation of essential health services.

Dr. Ofosu said the population at the overbank communities and hard-to-reach communities across the district, especially where there are no health facilities, all stood to benefit from the facility.

He said it was expected that a total of 10,401 made up of 27 direct communities including 10 overbank or island communities with population of 4,324 would benefit from the facility.  

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