Cape Coast, May 15, GNA – The Central Regional Health Directorate (CRHD) has emphasized the need for expectant mothers to deliver at health facilities, instead of engaging the services of Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs), warning that the attendants were not supposed to deliver babies.
Ms. Margaret Forson, Deputy Director of Nursing Services at the Public Health Division of the CRHD, said TBAs were not adequately skilled to effectively manage child birth complications, a situation which often exposed both mother and child to danger.
Speaking at a sensitization meeting held in Cape Coast as part of this year’s Child Health Promotion Week (CHPW), she said a TBA could only deliver baby during an emergency when the baby was already coming out.
‘Even in such situations, the baby and the mother must be immediately taken to the nearest health facility for further examination to effectively manage complications, if any. To avoid all the risk, you must report to the hospital the moment you suspect you are due.’ she stated.
Ms. Forson later told the Ghana News Agency that the Ghana Health Service (GHS) used to give TBAs some form of training, but currently the Service was discouraging their services in order to eliminate the numerous risks the TBAs exposed their clients to.
For instance, she said, some TBAs delayed deliveries, while others exposed newborns to infections especially cord infection, and cautioned against the use of unprescribed drugs to nurse baby’s cords since according to her, infections was the leading cause of newborn deaths.
She said by way of encouraging TBAs to take their clients to the health centres to deliver, some centres gave the TBAs soaps and small token for their efforts, and stressed the need for expectant mothers to understand that it was for their own safety that the GHS wanted them to deliver at health centres.
Ms. Forson expressed worry that there had not been any significant decline in child mortality in the region, and urged caregivers, health workers, traditional and religious leaders and all stakeholders to play their respective roles in reducing newborn deaths.
Mr Peter Kyeremanteng, Deputy Director of Pharmaceutical Services of the CRHD, expressed concern about child health in the region, and called for strong collaboration to raise standards.
Instituted in 2004 and celebrated every second week of May, this year’s CHPW celebration is on the theme: ‘I am a newborn- Keep me clean, help me live.’
It aims at reducing under-five mortality rate, by increasing public health awareness about preventive child health interventions, creating demand for services, increasing coverage for known cost-effective interventions.
As part of the celebration, there would be free vitamin A supplementation, immunization against childhood diseases, weighing for children under five years, as well as free birth registration for children under one year at the various health centres.
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