Maternal Health First Lady calls for inclusiveness

By
Afedzi Abdullah, GNA

Cape Coast, Oct. 18, GNA – Mrs. Rebecca
Akufo-Addo has called on health institutions to continuously and deliberately
strengthen their maternal health systems and ensure that they are inclusive
enough to cater for the needs of vulnerable women groups.

She said maternal health must be inclusive and
capable of offering a continuum of care for all groups of women before
conception, through pregnancy to delivery.

The vulnerable women’s groups included women
with disabilities, mentally deranged, physically abused and substance abused
women.

Mrs Akufo-Addo made the call when she
commissioned two new projects, Obstetrics and Gynaecology Emergency Centre and
a Mothers’ Hostel at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital (CCTH) on Wednesday.

“Our maternity services must ensure that they
are inclusive for women with physical disabilities, taking into account their
communication, equipment and support needs”.

The Obstetrics and Gynaecology Emergency
Centre was built by the Hospital’s Management from its Internally Generated
Funds (IGF), while the Mother’s Hostel was built and furnished by Mr Gustav
Anokye-Yeboah, a Businessman and a philanthropist.

The Obstetrics and Gynaecology Emergency
Centre is expected to expand the provision of specialist obstetrics and gynaecology
services to the people of the Central Region and the southern half of Ghana, as
well as serve as a facility for training health professionals required to
reduce maternal morbidity and mortality.

Both facilities are furnished with state-of-
the -art equipment.

“The strengthening of health systems also
means inclusiveness,” the First Lady said and added that, “We ought to ensure
mothers with mental health problems are well cared for during and after
pregnancy and assisted to access tailored care specific to their needs and
those of the baby”.

Mrs Akufo-Addo said pregnant women who abused
alcohol and other substances should not be condemned but rather special
attention and support must be given to them to ensure they had healthy babies.

She commended Mr Anokye –Yeboah for his kind
gesture and said many women died in Ghana due to pregnancy and delivery-related
complications, many of which could have been avoided, through effective,
appropriate maternity care and preventive, diagnostic and timely therapeutic
interventions. 

Therefore, she said any support or
contribution from an individual, group or organisation in support of maternal
health, needed to be commended.

Mr Kwamena Duncan, Central Regional Minister,
stressed the need for the infrastructural expansion of the CCTH and said
Government was on course in bridging the infrastructural deficit in the health
sector.

Dr Eric Kofi Ngyedu, Acting Chief Executive
Officer (CEO) of CCTH, described the donation of the Mother’s Hostel as apt and
‘manna from heaven’, which had come to lift the Hospital off the burden to
provide accommodation for mothers whose babies had been admitted to the Special
Care Baby Unit (SCBU) for various neonatal related critical conditions.

He said the Hospital was recording high
institutional maternal mortality and neonatal deaths due to the absence of a
comprehensive maternal and child healthcare facility to adequately handle cases
of referrals within and outside the Region, hence construction of the
Obstetrics and Gynaecology Emergency Centre.

He mentioned other innovative activities being
carried out by the Hospital to improve patient care to include, the
optimisation of the Polyclinic, full implementation of the electronic health
system, Light wave Health Information System and the Ghana Integrated Financial
Management System.

This notwithstanding, he said the Hospital was
confronted with the challenge of inadequate staff, inadequate accommodation for
staff, inadequate and ageing equipment.

The others included encroachment of the
Hospital land, overcrowding at the OPD and the Accident and Emergency Units,
while the Magnetic Resonance Imaging Machine was not functioning.

Dr Ngyedu appealed to Government to come to
the aid of the Hospital to replace many of its critical aged equipment as well
as infrastructure to help improve its services.

Mr Gustave Anokye-Yeboah said he was touched by
the plight of several mothers who slept in the open areas of the Hospital,
because there were no accommodations for them.

GNA

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