Let’s Prioritize Maternal Healthcare – First Lady
First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has described as worrying and tragic, the apparent lack of professionalism and compassion on the part of some health workers, that has led to some tragedies at various health facilities in the country.
She said such negative acts have resulted in deaths, disability and prolonged treatment periods for some Ghanaians.
She indicated that not all health workers exhibited such unprofessionalism, noting that, “I know many health workers are professional and client centred”.
She however, quarried that, “How do we explain the death of our own countrymen through negligence and lack of professionalism?
“I humbly ask that we all do our duties to save lives.”
Mrs Akufo-Addo, who was speaking at the commissioning of a Maternity Ward at the Bawjiase Health Centre in the Central Region on Tuesday, encouraged the staff of the facility and all health workers to work even harder to ensure “we keep our mothers, children and the community healthy and well”.
The renovated and refurbished maternity facility, undertaken by Mr George Andah, Member of Parliament for Ewutu Senya Constituency, upon a request by the Health Authorities during the electioneering campaign in 2016, was handed over to the Health Centre.
Mrs Akufo-Addo indicated that maternal health was of great concern to her, as it deals with the health of two individuals- mother and child.
She said both maternal and infant mortality, were so critical that, they had become a measure of a country’s development.
“That is why Ghana needs to do everything to achieve the Sustainable Development goal three, which seeks to reduce maternal deaths, to less than 70 per 100,000 live births.
“Although Ghana is recording less maternal and infant deaths, we should all be quick to concede that we need to do better.
“Indeed we can do so through pragmatic and results-oriented measures, which will allow us to attain sustainable development goal three, sooner rather than later” she said.
The First Lady said in a world of interdependency, nations still understood that every resource must be harnessed internally to address national challenges and provide a better life for citizens.
“This is what the President believes in and this is what I also believe. That is why President Akufo-Addo’s government is pursuing an aggressive agenda of Ghana beyond Aid, to find the resources to solve our own challenges.
“Indeed this is why my charity, the Rebecca Foundation is actively supporting the health sector, especially services that impact on the lives of women and children.
She therefore, commended Mr Andah for showing the way in his constituency, saying, “He is putting a high premium on the health of his constituents. At the same time he is declaring boldly that we can solve our own challenges”.
“I was here with Nenyi before the election in 2016 and saw the sad condition of this facility. At the time a request was made for us to do something about it, if NPP won the election. Thank God we won and thank God that with his blessings, we will fulfil the promises we made to Ghanaians.
“I am extremely happy therefore, to see this renovated and refurbished facility, a far cry from the facility I saw in 2016”.
She expressed the hope that the equipment provided at the Maternity Ward would immensely improve the standards of healthcare delivery in the centre and further contribute to the effort to elevate the status of the health centre, to a Polyclinic.
“This facility will also provide the much needed maternal health and child health care to protect the lives of mothers and babies” she indicated.
The First Lady entreated women to take antenatal hospital attendance seriously, saying, “Experts advise that we see a health professional when we decide to have a baby, during the pregnancy and after delivery. This enables health professionals, to identify health risks that may harm mother or baby.
She also encouraged fathers and other family members, to support pregnant women and health professionals to ensure optimum health for mother and baby.
She thanked all healthcare professionals and particularly those at the Bawjiase Health facility for their dedication and commitment to the health and well-being of Ghanaians, especially women and children.
Mr Andah on his part, said the Bawjiase Health Facility, built in 1972 by Mr. Haruna Esseku, who was a Minister of State in the Second Republic, and later became the Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, had seen much devastation over the years, with the maternity ward not having undergone any form of renovation or maintenance for a long time.
He, therefore gladly accepted the request by the Queen Mother of Bawjiase together with the Opinion Leaders, to renovate the ward, as well as posting a Medical Doctor to the Facility upon his becoming the MP of the area.
He said the refurbishment and renovation works done included, electrical, plumbing, masonry and carpentry works, with the provision of wheel chairs, Drip stands, Fetal copper, mattresses, beds, delivery sets, hospital tables, vacuum extractor, examination couch, steel cabinets, office chairs, Office tables, and chairs for pregnant women.
The rest are four-seater chairs, four-fold OPD screens, open shelf cabinet, 32 inch flat screen TV, three drawer metal cabinet, BP apparatus, medical tray and trolleys.
“These equipment and supplies are what the management of this facility requested and the critically needed ones, to ensure the improved provision of care at the health centre for patients and staff”, Mr Andah noted.
“I am particularly happy because I like all of you, feel there should be no reason in our current development that childbearing should put our mothers and children at such a health risk.
“With the current renovations and the posting of a permanent resident medical doctor, not only will we improve the health of the patients, but we hope to in the future, achieve our goal to elevate the status of this health centre into a poly clinic.