Husbands accuse wives of not taking antenatal medication
The initiative by the Northern Sector Action on Awareness Centre (NORSAAC), which led to the formation of Maternal Male Champions (MMC) and Pregnant Support Group (PSG), is yielding positive results.
At a regular monthly meeting of the two groups with health officials at Kpene, a community in the Sangnaregu District, on Tuesday, a 37-year-old man, Mr Yakubu Adams, accused his two wives, Amina Adams and Fatima Adams, of their refusal to take antenatal drugs prescribed by midwives during antenatal attendance.
“My wives have refused to take the antenatal drugs, which include fesolate, multivitamin and folic acid meant to build the haemoglobin level, help the child to grow and protect the child,” he said.
The meetings were held by the groups to discuss and share ideas on childcare, safe motherhood, sexually transmitted diseases and how to manage birth- related complications to support the NGO’s maternal and child health project called “Live Birth Smiling Mothers.”
Mr Adams said his wives’ refused to take the drugs because they feared that the unborn child might grow big in the stomach and let them suffer during labour or be compelled to go through caesarian procedure during delivery.
Madam Amina Adams, one of the wives who conceded that indeed she did not take some of the drugs, explained that one of the drugs made her lose appetite for food anytime she took it, hence her decision to discontinue.
Mr Mohammed Awal, Director of NORSAAC, explained that the two advocacy groups were working in partnership with the Ghana Health Service to reduce maternal and child death in the communities.
He said through the Star Ghana support project, which started in February, 2013, child births in the health facilities had increased from zero to eight out of 11 deliveries in the community.
“Last year, all the nine deliveries were done in homes, but now majority of the deliveries were taken care of at the health facilities. This is as a result of intensive sensitisation and the involvement of men in maternal health,” he said.
He said the project involved 24 communities in the Northern Region, and all of these areas had different approaches geared towards improving maternal health.
Madam Fati Ziblim, leader of the Pregnant Support Group, told the Ghana News Agency, that before the formation of the group, most women feared to attend antenatal services and refused to deliver at health centres, but revealed that the situation had changed.
“Now through education, we know that attending antenatal at the hospital is the best because one gets to know the health status of the unborn baby, receive education on the benefits of exclusive breast feeding and first aid,” she said.
She called on government to consider establishing a health facility in the area to ease the stress and the long distance expectant mothers traverse when attending antenatal services, especially during labour.
Men in the various communities have thrown their weight behind the maternal health campaign being implemented in the community.
They said the project had enlightened them on the importance of allowing and encouraging their women to patronise antenatal and postnatal care services, as well as ensuring that pregnant women delivered under the supervision of qualified midwives in approved health centres.