General News of Thursday, 24 May 2018
Source: Center for Constitutional Order
First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo is calling for intensified efforts in tackling pre-eclampsia, which is responsible for the death of close to 100,000 pregnant women around the world annually and also accounts for a lot of infant mortality cases in Ghana.
Although the cause of the condition remains unknown, early detection and proper antenatal care in most cases, help to avert its adverse impact.
Speaking at a ceremony to launch World Pre-eclampsia Day on the theme, ‘Pre-eclampsia, be prepared before lightning strikes’, at Greater Accra Regional Hospital in Accra, on Tuesday, 22 May 2018, Mrs Akufo-Addo, said: “Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy complication characterised by high blood pressure and signs of damage to organs, most often the liver and kidneys. Pre-eclampsia usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy in women, whose blood pressure had previously been normal”.
Below is the full speech
Speech by Solomon Osei fosu, executive director of center for constitutional order Honorable Chairperson, Your Excellency the First Lady, Mrs. Rebeeca Akufo-Addo, Fellow Dignitaries, our friends from the Media, Ladies, and Gentlemen.
In the case of the republic verse Inspector general of police, ex–parte center for constitutional order, Her Ladyship Gifty Agyei Addo, High Court Judge in this Republic stated and I quote.
“The Center for Constitutional Order, Concord, is an organization with a mission to ensure the total compliance of the laws of Ghana and that of the international community of which Ghana is an actor.”
What has the law got to with medicine? Well a lot. Without life there can be no law. Ghana Action on Preeclampsia, GHAPEC, is a baby of Center for Constitutional Order.
GHAPEC came into being as a result of one of our fellow, Mrs. Koiwah Koi-Larbi Ofosuapea lost her last baby to eclampsia. The name was heavy to pronounce and most of us were just ignorant of the name not to talk about signs and symptoms of the disease. A survey subsequently done by the Center revealed that only about 2% of the women interviewed knew the name and the symptoms. We became alarmed and decided to initiate this project to promote awareness of this health condition for early detection and management.
In this past year after the launch on May 22, 2017, we aimed at media i.e. radio, television, newspapers and social media to bring to bear what preeclampsia is and its symptoms.
Through these avenues, we have been able to reach over 5000 families and practically, saved five (5) women from losing their babies and/or their lives by referring them to our Head of Doctor Volunteer, Dr. Charles Buckman, and an Obstetrics & Gynecologist at 37 military hospitals.
We pride ourselves in these achievements because it has not been easy reaching that huge number not to talk about saving lives.
Again, apart from the social media, we were able to educate a number of National Service Personnel in the Greater Accra Region. As we all know a number of this personnel are yet to marry and give birth so it was very important engaging them.
Moreover, we said in 2017 at the launch that we were going to let every pregnant woman get a pressure machine to monitor her pressure at all times. We said so because we saw that a number of these women will visit hospitals but after coming home, their pressure will start rising. However, because they think they have gone to antenatal, they do not have to check their pressure and all until the next antenatal. Which is dangerous.
Through this we were able to get a partner in the United States of America who were ready to give us the pressure machine at a very low price. Unfortunately, we were not able to secure it because of financial constraints but we are still working on the materialization of it.
This year we have planned to do similar programs in all the Regions of Ghana in collaboration with our partners.
We will also continue with the media education in all the Regions through our ambassadors.
We will visit Churches and Mosque throughout the country to educate them on the disease.
We will also be having a counseling unit to counsel victims and use the opportunity to educate them.
We are therefore calling on every Ghanaian to come help this cause in every small way you can to eradicate preeclampsia and maternal mortality and mobility in Ghana.
We say no woman should die giving birth and we should save our babies. Society should be happy bringing forth a child, not pains. Come and let us carry out this duty together.
Madam Chair, Your Excellency, we are grateful for this Honour.