Maiden maternal and newborn conference in Accra

The Greater Accra Regional Health Directorate has organised the first maternal and newborn conference in Accra.

The conference deliberated on why pregnant women, newborns and children are dying at such unacceptable levels, and develop innovative ways to implement proven interventions to ensure the survival of this group of people.

With financial support from the Focus Region Health Project, the health directorate brought together the key stakeholders in the provision of maternal, newborn and child health services in the region, including senior managers, medical directors, midwives and representatives from the Regional Coordinating Council.

They discussed the theme: Supporting women to give life: Accelerated achievement of MDG4 & 5 Goals.

The Regional  Director of Health Services, Dr Linda A Vanotoo, said at the opening ceremony that the purpose of the conference was to inform the stakeholders about the status of maternal and newborn health in Greater Accra and involve them in the development of innovative activities that would establish the right environment for delivery of services at all levels.

It was further to develop regional networks to support maternal, newborn and child health in the region and create a forum to sustain efforts at all levels.

‘Pregnancy and childbirth should be times of joy for families and friends but unfortunately, there are a lot of uncertainties surrounding childbirth, especially in developing countries, including Ghana, because of the number of deaths of pregnant women and newborns recorded daily in health institutions,’ said Dr Vanotoo.

She called on health workers at all levels of care in the region to work with technical precision, dedication and love.

During the three days, the participants discussed many topics including ‘Quality Improvement in Maternity Services and the Role of Institutional Managers,’ ‘Obstetric Care in a Tertiary Centre: Challenges and Best Practices,’ ‘Immediate care of the Newborn, and Perinatal and Maternal Deaths Audits Review,’ after  presentations on the topics.

At the end of the conference, the institutional managers expressed their commitment to intensify their efforts to reduce maternal and perinatal mortality in the region.

A key feature of the conference was the introduction of a new strategy to promote the survival of pregnant women, newborns, children and adolescents in the region.

The strategy, dubbed: Promote Maternal and Infant Survival Excellence (PROMISE), was first implemented in the Western Region in 2009 out of the desire to see a change in maternal newborn and child health performance in 2009.

It involves critical analysis of maternal, newborn, child and adolescent care reports, resource mobilisation and prudent utilisation for implementation of appropriate and proven interventions to address gaps identified through monitoring and research into related health issues.

The regional maternal healthcare providers brainstormed on the new strategy and how to effectively implement it in the Greater Accra Region.

By Rosemary Ardayfio/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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