A principal nursing officer at the Berekum Holy Family Hospital, Nana Nyarko-Akoma Amado II, has advised maternity home operators to quickly refer delivery cases beyond them for early medical attention at the various hospitals within their areas of operations, to help reduce the high maternal and infant deaths recorded in the country.
She noted that most maternal and infant deaths recorded in the country could be avoided, if maternity homes referred cases beyond them early to the hospitals rather than to wait till the situation get out of hand before they do so.
Nana Amado, who is also the Queenmother of Kutre No. 2, near Berekum, appealed to pastors not to prevent pregnant women, who have been scheduled for operation, from seeking medical care since that had also been a major factor contributing to high maternal and infant deaths in the country.
Nana Amado announced this at a maternal health care programme at Amankokwa, near Berekum in the Brong Ahafo Region, on Friday.
The programme was organised by Rural Maternal and Child Foundation ( RUMACF), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), that seeks to promote programmes aimed at reducing maternal and child mortality in the country through community health awareness programmes, especially in rural communities.
She urged pregnant women to also go for antenatal care, at least four times before delivery, since that could help to prevent complications during and before delivery and also seek early medical care, rather than sit at home for the situation to get out of hand before going to the hospital.
A Public Health Nurse at the Berekum Municipal Health Directorate, Madam Veronica Annordjoe, announced that the region continued to record high maternal deaths, in spite of the interventions put in place by the government to reduce maternal and child mortality in the country.
She said the region recorded 94 maternal deaths in 2009, 68 in 2010, 90 in 2011 and 109 in 2012.
She described the situation as unfortunate and appealed to all stakeholders to join hands to help reduce the increase in maternal and child mortality in the region and the country as a whole.
Madam Annordjoe said the Berekum Municipality also recorded 12 maternal deaths in 2009, seven in 2010, 10 in 2011 and nine in 2012, adding that the municipality from January to March 2013 had recorded two maternal deaths, which she described as unacceptable and urged men to do more to assist their pregnant wives to ensure safe delivery.
She noted that hemorrhage (bleeding) and unsafe abortion continued to be the major causes of maternal and child mortality in the country.
Madam Annordjoe, therefore, urged pregnant women who encounter difficulties during pregnancy and after delivery and those who wanted to get rid of unwanted pregnancies to seek proper medical care to save their lives since, according to her, those who died as a result of unsafe abortions were also accounted for as maternal deaths.
A gynecologist and obstetrician specialist at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) Kumasi, Dr Charles Osei Anto, for his part, appealed to men to support their wives during pregnancy till delivery to help reduce the increasing maternal and child mortality in the country.
He said most maternal deaths recorded in health facilities across the country could also be attributed to the failure on the part of most men to encourage and assist their pregnant wives to go for antenatal regularly till they deliver.
" Most men prevent their pregnant wives from accessing antenatal care while others do not assist them to feed well and give them transport fares to attend antenatal", he said.
Dr Anto also advised couples who wanted to give birth to seek for prenatal care so that they would be advised on what to do, adding that most maternal and infants deaths could be avoided, if people go for pre-natal before getting pregnant.
Dasebre Amankona Diawuo, Omanhene of Berekum Traditional Area, who was the guest of honour commended RUMACF for their vision to educate people in rural communities on health issues aimed at reducing or preventing maternal and child mortality in the country.
Madam Monica Gbadago, Secretary, RUMACF, said the NGO would continue to organise health programmes in rural communities to help reduce maternal and child mortality across the region and the country as a whole.
Free insecticide bed nets were distributed to all pregnant women and those with under five children at the durbar.
Story: Samuel Duodu