The Ghana Red Cross Society (GRCS) has scaled up its Maternal, New-born and Child Health (MNCH) project to cover the Talensi and Pusiga Districts of the Upper East Region to cater for the health needs of expectant mothers.
The three-year project which started this year and is expected to end in 2020, is in partnership with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) with funding from the Swiss Red Cross Society.
The GRCS under the first phase of the project which ended last year, formed Mothers Clubs with 15000 members spread across 80 communities within the Kassena-Nankana Municipal, Bongo, Nabdam and Binduri Districts, who were trained by the GHS to identify danger signs in pregnancy, care of new-borns and on how to advise expectant mothers on the need to access medical care at health facilities.
As part of the GRCS quest to improve on maternal and new-born care in rural areas, the beneficiary communities were provided with tricycle ambulances to transport women in labour to the nearest health facility for safe delivery.
The second phase of the project would include; Family Planning (FP), special care for pregnant teenagers, exclusive breastfeeding, and growth monitoring and routine vaccination in its activities.
Speaking at the launch of the second phase of the project in Bolgatanga, Mr Evans Kevi the Project Coordinator of the Swiss Red Cross in charge of the MNCH, said the project would train 40 new Mothers’ Clubs on maternal, neo-natal and child health care, FP, and further strengthen activities of the 40 existing Mothers’ Clubs in the other Districts.
He said the project would educate the communities about socio-cultural practices that negatively affected the health of expectant mothers and children, and would ensure that community leaders played critical roles to change the behaviour of their members.
Mr Kevi said as part of initiatives to improve on MNCH, activities, the Clubs would include home visits to provide counselling services, composition of educative songs in local dialects on maternal and child health issues, community durbars and accountability activities, night cinemas relating to MNCH and educative radio discussions among others.
Mr Joseph Abarike, the Upper East Regional Manager of the GRCS, said his outfit had the capacity to complement the efforts of the GHS to undertake public health education in communities and to further assist in routine immunisation exercises.
He was convinced that with support from government, the GRCS could help reduce its huge budgetary allocation to the health sector, especially with the National Health Insurance Scheme.
Mr Donald Adabre, the Regional Chairman of the GRCS, admonished staff of the GRCS and the GHS, members of the Mother Clubs and volunteers to work diligently to ensure that the second phase of the project was also successfully implemented.
Caption: Photo of MrEvansKevi, addressing the stakeholders