New maternal health programme to air on radio/tv

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ms Hanna Tetteh, has launched a new television and radio series that would highlight maternal health issues in the country.

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The programme, which is a weekly series to be aired on Ghana Television and TV3, will also be aired in local languages on GBC radio stations to complement a concerted national effort to inform, educate and stimulate interest in maternal health issues while seeking solutions to the tragedy of deaths and disabilities.

Health experts estimate that this year, 4,000 women would die and over 100,000 would be disabled due to pregnancy related complications if efforts are not scaled up to improve access to maternal care.

The Foreign Affairs Minister who launched the series on behalf of President John Dramani Mahama said the government was committed to ensuring that the country would meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Five which relates to reducing maternal deaths.

She said the government would commit resources into maternal health to ensure that no woman would die during childbirth.

The minister who said “pregnancy is not a death sentence” indicated that it was needless for women to die when a lot could be done for them to deliver safely, with the right mechanisms in place.

She said the government would continue to work closely with the private sector to ensure that resources were well managed to help provide adequate resources to save the lives of women.

A representative of the United Nations (UN) systems in Ghana, Mr Bernard Coquelin, said the UN was ready to support Ghana to attain the MDG Five.

He called on the country not to forget about MDG Four which relates to reducting infant mortality, stressing that Goals Four and Five could only be achieved when they are handled together.

He called for a concerted effort to help achieve MDG Five.

The Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Gerard Duijfjes, in a goodwill message, commended the originators of the series, saying that it would help create a more informed populace.

He said bringing to the fore issues on maternal mortality would help to create the opportunity for people to do something about the situation.

The Director of Human Resources and Health Development at the Ministry of Health, Dr Frank Nyonator, said the ministry was working around the clock to ensure that the number of women who died during childbirth was reduced

He said a system had been put in place by the ministry where pregnant women were tracked till their babies were above one year to ensure that they and their children were given optimum care.

Story by Rebecca Quaicoe-Duho