30% of maternal, infant mortality preventable – Lecturer

Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu,Health Minister.,

Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu,Health Minister.,

Thirty per cent of maternal and infant mortality in the country could be prevented, if couples take preconception care seriously, Ms Rebecca Nkansah Kyeremateng, a lecturer at the Bolgatanga Midwifery Training College, has observed.

“Preconception care, she explained, “is one of the branches of obstetric care where couples who want to give birth to children have to go for medical check-up at the health facility for the woman to be examined to ensure whether she had some medical conditions that could affect her or the baby during delivery.”

The lecturer, who was speaking at breast cancer screening and awareness creation programme for women groups in Bolgatanga on Monday, further explained that upon detecting such critical conditions, the woman could be put on certain treatment to stabilise her condition before delivery.

She said such checkups could also help pave the way for women in such conditions to be monitored by health professionals before and during birth.

Ms Kyeremateng, however, lamented that majority of couples were unaware of such facility at health centres and  appealed to the media, traditional and religious leaders, politicians and the government, to join the wagon in creating awareness for couples to access such facility before giving birth.

“It is unfortunate that majority of Ghanaians are not aware about the existence of the preconception services at the health facilities. Curbing maternal and infant mortality is a shared responsibility of every Ghanaian. There is, therefore, the urgent need for every Ghanaian to educate couples about the existence of such services and encourage more to access the services before delivery,” she emphasised.

A student nurse of the training college, Ms Esther Abena Pokuaa, who educated the groups about family planning, also attributed the miscarriages of pregnant women partly to the failure of many couples to patronise the preconception services before picking seeds.

She entreated couples to space the birth of their babies for the sake of their own safety and to prevent the babies from getting malnourished.

The acting regional director of the Department of Gender, James Twene, observed that the World Health Organisation had over the years declared the month of October as breast cancer awareness month globally.

He explained that it was marked to increase the attention and get the support for awareness, early detection, and treatment of the disease, reduce stigma through education and treatment, and help more women to get access to breast cancer information and to share information about the disease.

The screening of the breast cancer and the awareness creation exercise, was organised by Regional Directoriate of the Department of Gender under the auspices of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in collaboration with the Ghana Health Services, and attracted women groups including the Christian Mothers Association, hair dressers and dressmakers associations, market women, among others.

Fortunately about 100 women who were screened for the day tested negative for breast cancer disease.

FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, BOLGATANGA

 

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