Basic Needs Ghana implements Maternal Mental Health project

By
Anthony Apubeo, GNA

Bolgatanga, Sept 11, GNA – Basic Needs Ghana,
an advocacy Non-Government Organisation has begun the implementation of a new
project dubbed “Maternal Mental Health (MMH)” Project in five regions in the
country to improve on maternal mental health delivery.

The regions include; the Upper East, Upper
West, Northern, Brong-Ahafo and the Greater Accra Regions and is expected to
cover 74 districts across the aforementioned regions.

All the 15 Municipal and Districts in the
Upper East Region would benefit from the project.

The project, which had funding support from
the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom (UK)
was made known at a stakeholder’s forum in Bolgatanga, the Upper East Regional
Capital.

It attracted stakeholders including; District
Directors, Senior Public Health Nurses from the Ghana Health Service, and Media
practitioners among others.

Adam Dokurugu Yahaya, the Programmes
Manager of Basic Needs Ghana, explained that the project aimed at enhancing MMH
of the vulnerable pregnant women and mothers and their children in Ghana to
realise their maternal and child health care needs.

He mentioned the implementing partners as
Basic Needs Ghana, Gub-Katimali Society (GKS), Centre for People’s Empowerment
and Rights Initiatives (CPRI) and Mission of Hope for Society International
Foundation (MIHOSO).

The Programmes Manager indicated that the
project would target about 11,070 persons representing 75 percent of women and
girls to be delivered by skilled attendants at health facilities, 400
mid-wives, 100 Traditional Birth Attendants and 800 Community Health Nurses
(CHNs) to acquire skills in basic MMH care to enable them screen and treat
maternal mood disorders.

He said apart from the project target of
11,808 pregnant women and girls representing 80 percent in the project
districts to attend four antenatal visits to health facilities in the project
locations by end of 2019, it was further targeted at promoting exclusive
breastfeeding.

He stated that among some of the activities so
far executed included; the baseline studies conducted on the MMH project, the
launch of the MMH project in the Brong Ahafo Region, the development of posters
and billboards of the MMH for public education, the training of 1,124 mental
health workers, CHNs, midwives, enrolled Nurses among others on Essential
Skills in Mental Health care.

The project, he revealed also trained 1,124
mental health workers, CHNs, midwives, enrolled Nurses among others on the
Edinburgh Prenatal Depression Screening tool, set up four Counselling units at
the Sunyani Municipal, Tuobodom, the Nkoranza North and Prang to offer first
level care for screened pregnant women found to be in need of psychotherapy.

He said the quarterly specialist psychiatrist
outreach clinics programme initiated by the project is also on-going and
underscored the need to incorporate mental health into Medium Term development
Plans of the Municipal and District Assemblies.

The stakeholders who expressed happiness about
the project, impressed upon government to mainstream MMH into the maternal and
child health policy and programmes.

GNA 

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