Health News of 2014-06-20

Fathers to attend antenatal clinic

Health Concern Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has set up a father’s antenatal and child welfare exhibition clinic to give fathers an insight into what goes on at the hospital.

Mrs. Mary Aboagye, Executive Director of the NGO, said this at this year’s FatherFest held at the Victory Presbyterian Church at Adenta, Accra last Saturday.

According to Mrs Aboagye, “the organisation believes strongly that fathers have a crucial role to play in improving maternal mortality”.

She noted that previously, discussions on maternal health centred primarily on women but pointed out that men can be of immense support to their partners during pregnancy.

“Through FatherFest, we seek to educate fathers on the need to be actively involved in the lives of their children, right from pregnancy,” she stated.

She said the event on the theme: “The Role of Fathers in Improving Maternal Health” was also to create an avenue for people to show their appreciation to their fathers and to equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to assume their roles effectively.

A representative of the Ministry of Health, Mr Nicholas Nyaglornu, said “the ministry and the NGO are doing everything possible to improve maternal healthcare.

He noted that there are free maternal programmes available at hospitals for pre and post natal care and delivery.

Fathers therefore, should serve as coaches to their partners from pregnancy to delivery, provide support and guidance, as well as serve as witnesses in the process of delivery.

Mr Peter Akyea from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, stressed the role of fathers in the lives of their children.

He said “we need to celebrate those who have embraced their responsibility of providing basic needs for their children, ensure the survival of their families and protect them from domestic violence and external abuse. We also have to give our children the best of education and help in their development.”

Madam Susan Ngongi, from UNICEF, observed that in Ghana, a mother dies from child-birth every two hours.

She also gave some reasons why it was so, saying “Most couples delay the decision of whether to go to the hospital or not. There are also financial constraints, as well as lack of immediate help at the hospitals.”

She encouraged couples who are expecting babies to make plans ahead of delivery to save the lives of mothers.

Health screening, blood donation, and fathers’ cooking and dancing competitions were held as part of the programme.

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