Telemedicine to aid maternal health in Ahafo Ano South District

The Ahafo Ano South District is scaling up the piloting of telemedicine in the provision of medical services to pregnant women in the area.

Most women in the local communities are not visiting the health facilities for ante and post-natal services. This has been attributed to financial constraints and the inconvenience of traveling long distances to health centres.

Through the use of telephones, the district health directorate is hoping to improve the situation.

Telemedicine involves the use of telecommunication and information technologies to provide clinical health care to eliminate distance barriers.

District Director of Health Services, Reuben Bedzrah, says ten telephones systems have been acquired for the ten public health facilities in the district.

He is confident the system should improve maternal health care in the district.

‘Any pregnant woman who comes to the facility for the first time, we are going to pick her mobile phone number or anyone who is closer to her and there is a log book at the facility; at any time that a pregnant woman is called on this phone, the basic information is going to be logged,’ Mr. Bedzrah explained.

Current rate of deliveries by skilled and unskilled traditional birth attendants (TBAs) is between 30-50% from 2011 to 2013.

Mr. Bedzrah says measures to improve the rate include training the TBAs and empowering community health nurses to register pregnant women to extend the needed support.

Story by Kofi Adu Domfeh

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