Maternal mental health alliance established in N/R

By
Albert Futukpor, GNA

Tamale, Sept 03, GNA – The Northern Regional
Alliance of Maternal Mental Health has been established to help mainstream,
educate, and advocate for improved maternal mental health care for pregnant
women and girls in the region.

The Alliance is also to support vulnerable
pregnant women or those found to be epileptic in diverse ways such as income
generating initiatives, general welfare support as well as referring them to
appropriate facilities for support to ensure safe delivery.

Members of the Alliance include
community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations in health and
women’s affairs, governmental organizations such as Commission on Human Rights
and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and National Commission for Civic Education
(NCCE).

The establishment of the Alliance is in line
with the implementation of the Maternal Mental Health project titled:
“Enhancing Maternal Mental Health of 29,520 pregnant women and mothers and
their children to realize maternal and child health in Ghana”.

The three-year project seeks to contribute to
improved health and livelihood outcomes amongst poor and vulnerable women and
girls in 74 districts in the Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Brong-Ahafo and
Greater Accra Regions.

It is being implemented by Gub-Katimali
Society in collaboration with BasicNeeds-Ghana with funding from the Department
for International Development of the United Kingdom.

Sheik Yakubu Abdul Kareem, Programme
Coordinator of Gub-Katimali Society, who spoke during the set-up and
orientation of the Alliance in Tamale, said the project would improve access to
quality and appropriate maternal and child health services to targeted women
and their children.

Sheik Abdul Kareem said the project would also
strengthen the capacity of existing facilities and community-based maternal and
child health and psychiatric health staff to deliver a stepped care
intervention for maternal mental health care model.

He called for adequate logistics such as
personnel, equipment and medicines for health care facilities and health
promotion units to enable them to attend to maternal mental health cases as
well as create awareness on the maternal mental health issues.

Madam Adishetu Salifu, Executive Director of
Women and Youth Development Association said increased cases of denial of
pregnancy, depression and drug abuse caused mental health issues for women
lauding the project, which would help to improve maternal mental health of
pregnant women.

Chief Amadu Issahaku, former Northern Regional
Director of the National Population Council expressed need for husbands to
support their wives especially during pregnancy to enhance care for them.

Alhaji Abdul-Razak Saani, Northern Regional
Director of NCCE urged members of the Alliance to make use of social events to
create awareness on maternal mental health issues.

Mr Fred Nagtomah, Knowledge and Communications
Officer of BasicNeeds-Ghana called for commitment on the parts of all the
Alliance members to ensure the success of the project.

GNA

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