Samira Fights Maternal Mortality
The Samira Empowerment and Humanitarian Projects (SEHP) on Thursday, 10 May 2018, launched the SEHP Safe Delivery Project to support efforts to reduce maternal and neo-natal mortality in Ghana.
Speaking at the ceremony in the Northern Region, the wife of Ghana’s Vice-President and founder of SEHP, Mr Samira Bawumia, described as “unacceptably high”, the rate of maternal mortality in Ghana.
She said 319 mothers die per 100,000 live births, adding that neo-natal mortality rate is 29 per 1000 live births.
In rural areas, only 59 per cent of women have access to skilled birth.
These, in addition to infections, hemorrhaging, among others, are reasons for the high rates of mortality, she stated.
She said the situation was “disheartening”, but assured that the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service were working to address the challenges.
The SEHP Safe Delivery Project will be done through training, education and the provision of well-resourced birth kits to expectant mothers in the worst affected communities across Ghana.
The kits contain supplies including supplements, methylated spirit, sterile blade, delivery mat, sterile gloves, gauze swabs, cord ties and clamp, cord sheet, medicated soap and baby hats. There is also medication to stop hemorrhaging.
Mrs Bawumia noted that: “By addressing at least three main causes of maternal and neo-natal mortality – postpartum haemorrhage, hypertensive disorders and infections – we hope to improve the chances of survival of mothers and newborns through this project.”
For the first phase of the project, up to 1000 women in their third trimester have been selected from the East Gonja Municipality to receive the birth kits. Expectant mothers will also be registered on the National Health Insurance Scheme as part of the initiative to ensure access to skilled healthcare.
In addition, qualified senior midwives are training nurses and Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) on how to effectively use the birth kits.
Mrs Bawumia believes “through this project, we can change the narrative so far as maternal and neo-natal mortality is concerned.”