Health News of 2014-05-05

Doctors pledge to increase maternal, infant survival rates

The Greater Accra Regional Health Directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) will begin the implementation of the Specialist Outreach Support Programme in an effort to increase maternal and infant survival rates in the region.

The programme would help provide general support services for expectant mothers through workshops and to expand the skills of midwives.

The programme is also to build a system for emergency care and implement periodic clinical meetings conducted by midwives.

The programme would be used to assign specialists to provide support for hospitals and clinics in the region as well as providing on-the-job training for nurses and midwives to address the major challenges to maternal and child health during pregnancy.

The Greater Accra Region recorded 201 maternal deaths, making the region the highest in maternal deaths for the year 2013.

Out of these deaths, only 52 representing 25 percent were blamed on institutional failures such as poor management and minimal emergency prevention response.

Dr. Linda Van-Otoo, Greater Accra Regional Health Director, who addressed medical directors of the region on strategies to improve maternal health, said, the programme would teach medical practitioners to deliver professional and timely support to patients with the right attitude.

“Pregnant women need professional support, accurate information and documentation of the progress of their pregnancies and that is what we are to give them,” she noted.

Dr. Van-Otoo, therefore, urged the heads of the various institutions to adopt strategies such as showing interest in the pregnancy and following up on patients with correct documentation.

“Involve the family members especially the fathers and provide access to family planning services when pregnant women visit the hospital,” she stated.

She also highlighted the need for the heads of institutions to re-organise their clinics especially during the peak periods of child delivery in order to better manage the assignment of pregnant women to able healthcare providers.

“Show leadership and it should be innovative and practical. Commitment should be a top down approach and be seen by all,” Dr. Van-Otoo emphasized.