Midwives told to be professional

Mrs.Matilda Amissah Arthur,Second Lady.The Second Lady Mrs. Matilda Amissah-Arthur has called on midwives and traditional birth attendants to make professionalism be their watch word in order to reduce infant mortality in the country.

She said this at the launch of Helping Babies Breathe Training programme in Sunyani yesterday.

The programme, an initiative of Newmont Ghana, in partnership with Project Cure an America-based Health NGO, aims at training midwives in techniques of reversing the physiological effects of birth asphyxia, and for those babies who, due to trauma and fatigue during labour, do not breathe at birth.

It is also a train-the-trainer model with the goal of those trained becoming trainers within their communities.

Mrs. Amissah-Arthur, noted that currently, 320 out of every 1,000 under five years babies died and out of the figure, 120 were newborns.

She said the causes of the deaths had been attributed to infections, breathing problems and pneumonia.

She said that in July last year, Ghana launched a National New Born Care Strategy to bring to attention, the high neonatal mortality rate in the country, adding that the programme would be run up 2018.

Nothing that for the past 10 years, infant mortality had not reduced in the country, she said the project was to reduce neonatal death by five per cent annually, and to reach a national rate of 21 per 1,000 births by 2018, with the help of UNICEF.

Mrs. Amissah-Arthur described the Helping Babies Breathe Training programme as a much needed approach to save newborns, and stressed on the need for Newmont and Project Cure to ensure excellence by providing the needed support to the trainees, as well as extending it to other regions.

The Director of External Affairs and Communications, Newmont Ghana, Adiki Ayitevie, said the company through its health interventions programme had embarked on a number of projects such as establishment of health centers, Ntotroso College of Nursing, among others, to improve upon the health needs of the people in the catchment area.

She said, the programme would compliment efforts by all relevant stakeholders to ensure a drastic reduction, if not a total elimination of child mortality in the country.

From: Daniel Dzirasah, Sunyani.

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