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Pregnant women denied health care

2008-12-10 19:03:21
This article has been read 706 times.

Mrs Rosemond Azure, District Director in charge of Health Services in the Talensi-Nabdam District, has expressed worry about how some communities in the Upper East Region did not allow some pregnant women to attend health facilities on the basis of cultural beliefs resulting in their death.

She expressed the concern during a community forum organized by the Datuku Local Civic Coalition Group at Datuku in the Upper East Region.

The Group, which was formed through the initiative of Grass Roots Africa, a non-governmental organization working in the area of poverty reduction, and strengthening of political, economic and social rights of the marginalized group, seeks to complement government efforts by identifying the pertinent needs of communities and presenting them to government through District Assemblies.

The District Director explained that most of the family heads had the belief that they would have to consult soothsayers and perform some rituals which would enable the pregnant women to deliver instead of sending them to health facilities.

She indicated that such negative cultural practices had led to the death of a lot of pregnant women in some parts of the Region, which could have been prevented.

She appealed to traditional authorities, assembly members, and opinion leaders among others, to educate family heads on the importance of allowing their pregnant women to attend health facilities, and also to encourage them to keep to that habit since maternal health care was now free.

Mrs. Azure said her outfit would soon embark on organizing durbars and sensitization programmes to educate communities on the need to encourage pregnant women to go for anti-natal check-ups.

She stated that the GHS was doing everything possible to prevent maternal mortality, hence the introduction of the Free Medical Care programme for pregnant women.

The Capacity Building Officer of Grass Roots Africa, Mr James Awuni, said his outfit had empowered a lot of communities in the Talensi-Nabdam District, which could now organize themselves well and discuss pertinent issues affecting them, and forward them to the appropriate quarters for redress.

He said Grass Root Africa was organizing capacity building programmes for some communities in the Bongo, Kassena-Nankana and Kassena-Nankana West districts in the Region, all aimed at empowering the people to also actively participate in governance at the community levels.

The Project is being sponsored by the Department for International Development (DFID), in partnership with the Ghana Refuges Welfare Groups (GHARWEG) and Community Partnership for Health and Development (CPHD).


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