Ms Sarah Sylvia Donkor, Acting District Director of Health Services, Upper Manya Krobo, has expressed concern about the large number of pregnant women in the district who prefer to deliver outside health facilities.
“It is interesting to note that due to the outreach programmes and persistent education in communities in the district, ante-natal clinic attendance hit 109.5 per cent but unfortunately only 47 per cent delivered at the health centres or had supervised delivery.
“The majority either deliver at home or at the centres of Traditional Birth Attendant (TBA) despite attending the ante-natal clinics,” Ms Donkor told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at the Asesewa Hospital, in the Eastern Region.
The GNA Media Auditing and Tracking of Development Projects in the Upper Manya Krobo District team visited the hospital as part of the project.
The team was at the district under a STAR-Ghana project, a multi-donor pooled organisation, to promote transparency, accountability and grassroot participation in governance at the district level.
Ms Donkor said since the women do not deliver at health facilities, it is difficult to keep accurate figures for maternal mortality rate in the district but noted that last year, one case was recorded outside a health facility in the area.
The District Health Director also expressed concern about the bad road network in the district stressing: “It makes it difficult to reach the communities as health workers or for the people to visit the health centres.”
She said the Health Centre has therefore outlined community outreach services and had also arranged with drivers to transport emergency cases to the nearby facility for attention.
She appealed for durable motorbikes to enhance outreach services and community visits.
Ms Oyetso Kumi, a 21 year old pregnant woman, already a mother of two, told the GNA that all her children were delivered at home because that had been the tradition of the family.
She proudly stated: “My mother had eight children and none was delivered at the hospital, my mother-in-law also has six children and were all delivered at home.”
She said due to the education of health workers who often visit their communities, she had attended two ante-natal clinics but would not deliver at a health centre.
Ms Florence Koyo, a 29 year old mother of three also told the GNA that the family had always patronised the services of a TBAs who is almost 70 years old and had been in the practice for over 40 years.
“All my siblings and my mother herself visit the TBA woman for delivery and had never experienced any challenge,” Ms Koyo stated.
She said she lost one of her babies during delivery but that was attributed to a spiritual curse.
She said even though after that delivery she was admitted at the hospital and told the baby died out of a medical condition, she believed that was not the case.
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