Active male involvement during a woman’s pregnancy is key towards reducing maternal and infant mortality, the Head of Programmes at Rural Initiatives for Self-Empowerment (RISE-Ghana), a Bolgatanga based non-governmental organisation (NGO), Jaw-haratu Amadu, has said.
According to her, it is important for husbands to support their pregnant wives throughout the period of pregnancy towards ensuring the safety of both the woman and the unborn child, thereby contributing to reducing maternal deaths.
She said, “husbands or men must accompany their pregnant wives to attend ante-natal services in health facilities so that they will be educated on what to do to support their wives at home in the course of the pregnancy”.
Ms Amadu gave the advice in an interview with the media at the end of a two-day training workshop for trainers as part of the implementation of the gender rights and empowerment programme (GREP) in Nangodi in the Nabdam District in the Upper East Region.
RISE-Ghana, a sub grantee, is implementing a sub project titled, “strengthening health committees and citizens groups to champion quality maternal health in the Talensi and Nabdam districts.
The three-year project is being led by STAR Ghana Foundation with funding from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the United Kingdom (UK).
The purpose of the project is to improve access to and financing for quality maternal healthcare services in the two beneficiary districts.
Not taking medications
She noted that some pregnant women due to their condition sometimes felt reluctant to take medicines given to them to protect them and their babies, saying, “with the involvement of the husband or partner, the pregnant woman will be compelled to take the prescribed medication”.
Ms Amadu stressed that if a man accompanied the pregnant wife to the hospital and a drug was prescribed for her to take, the man would ensure that the woman took the medication to protect the pregnancy.
She said “pregnancy comes with a lot of challenges and that if men provide the needed support to women during such a period, it will enable them to have a trouble-free pregnancy leading to safe delivery”.
She added that in a bid to increase quality maternal health care, there is the need for community participation, noting, “some community structures, made up of women and men leaders, traditional rulers and health committee members must play active roles towards achieving it”.
The Executive Director of Inspire To Act, an NGO, Abdul-Rashid Imoro, who facilitated the training, expressed concern about the non-availability of the patient charter in some health facilities.