The wife of the Vice-President, Mrs Samira Bawumia, has launched a flagship project aimed at reducing maternal and neonatal mortality in deprived communities across the country, especially in northern Ghana.
The project aims at improving maternal health and ensuring safe deliveries through training, education and the provision of birth kits to expectant mothers in deprived communities.
The initiative, dubbed ‘Safe Delivery Project’, is being implemented by the Samira Empowerment and Humanitarian Project (SEHP), a non-profit organisation being run and managed by the Second Lady.
Under the project, birth kits containing supplies such as methylated spirit, sterile blade, delivery mat, a pair of sterile gloves, gauze swabs, cord ties, combined dressing, name tag, cord clamp, cord sheet, baby hat and medicated soap will be distributed to pregnant women.
The kits which will be distributed by trained community-based volunteers and health workers also include drugs to prevent haemorrhaging and vitamin supplements.
At the launch at Salaga in the East Gonja Municipality in the Northern Region last Thursday, Mrs Bawumia said: “The main objective of this project is to improve the chances of survival of mothers and newborns by addressing at least three main causes of maternal and neonatal mortality, particularly postpartum haemorrhage (bleeding), hypertensive disorders and infections.
She indicated that though there were many other issues affecting women’s health in Ghana, maternal and neonatal mortality was the greatest and the most heartbreaking problem to her organisation.
Mrs Bawumia noted that Ghana, in the past decades, had been able to bring the national maternal death rate from 740 deaths per 100,000 live births in the 1990s to a current rate of 319 per 100,000 live births, which was higher than the current national target of 185 per 100,000 live births.
The United Nations’ target stipulated in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is 70 per 100,000 live births and 12 per 1,000.
She said the government continued to implement evidence-based and high-impact interventions to help reduce maternal and neonatal mortality, but was challenged with inadequate funding; and, therefore, urged stakeholders to support the project in order to save lives.
Mrs Bawumia indicated that qualified senior midwives would train nurses, SEHP volunteers and Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) in various communities to effectively use the birth kits to ensure safe delivery.
The Deputy Northern Regional Minister, Mr Solomon Boar, pledged the support of the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) and the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to the success and sustainability of the project.
He commended the Second Lady for initiating the project to help save lives in the country, saying issues of maternal and neonatal care were a major challenge in the area.
He, however, appealed to expectant mothers to make optimum use of the project and also visit health centres regularly to enable them to deliver safely without complications.