Community health educators schooled on maternal health

A three-day capacity building workshop for members of community health coalition on maternal health care and sexual reproductive health rights has ended in Ho.

The workshop, organised by the Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF), with funds from the European Union (EU), was attended by 40 participants drawn from communities in the Ga West Municipality in the Greater Accra Region  and the Akuapem-North District in the Eastern Region

The communities are Obeyeyie, Afuaman, Katapor, Otsirikonkonfo, Donkoman, Nsakinaa, Ayikai Doblo, Dedeiman, Bordumase and Oduman in the Ga West Municipality and Asasekorkor, Bewase, Yensiso, Duase, Beware, Atsikor, Kwamoso, Korkormu, Addo Nkwanta and Safor in the Akuapim North district.

The workshop was aimed at equipping the participants with the knowledge and skills for improving maternal health in the two districts through a community-based approach in pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly MDG five, which relates to reducing maternal mortality. Target group

It was targeted at women, teenage girls, parents of pregnant teenage girls, traditional leaders and community health personnel.

According to the programme officer for governance of WiLDAF, Miss Esenam Ahiadorme, the participants were expected to form a community health coalition to provide education on issues relating to maternal health and reproductive health rights and support pregnant women and adolescent girls to access health care during prenatal and post-natal periods.

She said the participants were expected to have a clear understanding of the principles and legal framework or policies related to maternal and reproductive health rights and the mode for the disbursement of funds allocated to the  community health coalition. Reaching MDGs by 2015

The programme manager for governance of WiLDAF, Mr Frank Bodza, said it was an international concern that many countries would miss many of the MDGs by 2015 with Ghana not excluded, adding that although maternal death rates continued to decline in the country from 1990 to date, the nation might not meet the MDG target of 185 per 100,000 by 2015.

He said factors such as unsafe abortion, poverty and accessibility to health facilities, malnutrition, culture and tradition had been identified as contributory factors to the high rate of maternal mortality rate in the country.

Mr Bodza said teenage pregnancy was also rampant in rural and remote communities though urban areas were not excluded and advised teenage girls to concentrate on their education and avoid promiscuous lives.

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