Accra, April 30, GNA - About 120 Midwives, Community Health Nurses and other health professionals were trained under the Neonatal Survival Pilot Project Programme.
The programme was to recognise danger signs related to pregnancy and child birth as well as the newborns. It was designed by the American Academy of Paediatrics dubbed "Helping babies breath" to ensure safe delivery and survival of the newborns called 93Golden Minute". Mrs Ernestina Naadu-Mills, the First Lady addressing the closing session of trainers of trainees in Accra on Friday said, they were expected to educate more than 200 nursing mothers on newborn healthcare.
These include providing information on breastfeeding, kangaroo mother care, infection prevention and symptoms of uncommon newborn illness and when to seek medical attention for newborns. She said the project was a close collaboration with the Accra and Kumasi Metropolitan Assemblies to reduce neonatal mortality. Mrs Naadu-Mills speaking on the theme: 93Helping Baby Breath a Desire to Ensure Safe Delivery" said the project would save and improve the lives and health of women, neonates and infants. She said the initiative on the project had reinforced commitment on the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to accomplish the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Four and Five.
The First Lady noted that national statistics showed that one-in-nine babies die before reaching the age of five and nearly three in five of these deaths occur during the first year of life and that deaths of babies less than a month contributed to about two thirds of all infants deaths in the country and account for 40 per cent of death in infants under the age of five. However, it has been determined that most of these neonatal deaths occur within 48 hours of birth and the GHS and Ministry of Health in collaboration with development partners has developed a road map for accelerating reduction of maternal and newborn mortality. Mrs Naadu-Mills commended the Millennium City Initiative (MCI) by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) for the support of the critical needed maternal and neonatal health research programme. Mr Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive, said the AMA had worked with the American Academy of Paediatrics with sponsorship from Johnson and Johnson on the neonatal survival project. "New born babies must be given a chance of life right at birth," h= e noted.
He stressed government's commitment to ensure that Ghanaians were healthy to benefit from national development from birth, during youthful days and adulthood.
Nana Abena Akuamoa=96Boateng, Regional Millennium City Initiative (MCI) Coordinator for West and Central Africa said the programme had improved skills, knowledge and confidence of midwives and improved client confidence and open communication between client and service. She said it had also influenced service staff in maternal behaviour especially reporting to labour ward in fist stage. Nana Akuamoa=96Boateng explained that the objective of the intervention was to create a successful, scalable model for simplified health care training that could be undertaken in underserved urban and rural setting, thereby contributing to reduce child and maternal mortality.