Bolga holds forum to assess quality healthcare delivery

Stakeholders in the health sector have lauded the achievements chalked by the Mother-Baby Friendly Health Facility Initiative (MBFHI) project for improving quality healthcare delivery of maternal and newborn care in the Upper East Region.

The project begun implementation in 2016 and ended in 2018, after being piloted in  four project districts in the region, including Bolgatanga and Bawku municipalities, Bongo and Kassena-Nankana West districts.

It was implemented by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in collaboration with UNICEF and community mobilisation support from some selected civil society organisations (CSOs) with funding from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Speaking at a dissemination forum in Bolgatanga last Friday to assess the progress of the MBFHI project, the Regional Director of Health, Dr Winfred Ofosu, stated that the project interventions apart from improving quality healthcare of maternal and newborn care, had also contributed immensely to the reduction of maternal and newborn deaths in the project areas of the region.

He said what was now left was for his outfit to seek more support from major development partners and CSOs to see how the project could be replicated in the remaining 11 districts in the region to make a greater impact.

Whilst commending Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and UNICEF-Ghana, for contributing to the success of the implementation of the project, the Regional Director also acknowledged the contributions of the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for complementing GHS efforts in its quality service delivery in the region.

Ms Sadia Salifu, a senior nursing officer of the  Regional Directorate of the GHS,  said with the implementation of the project in 25 health centres and 82 Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS),  including the Regional Hospital,  a lot had been achieved.

She cited the establishment of newborn care units at the Bongo, Bawku and the Regional Hospital, increased demand and access to quality maternal and newborn care, exclusive breastfeeding counselling and support services, and the strengthened accountability processes for maternal and newborn care as part of the achievements chalked by the project. 

Ms Salifu said as part of efforts aimed at improving the quality of maternal and newborn care at the facility level, health workers including nutrition officers, midwives, doctors, health information officers, general nurses, health promotion officers and regional coaches were trained on the World Health Organisation standards in administrating quality improvement care to maternal and newborn babies.

A  Chief Field Officer of UNICEF-Tamale, Mrs Margaret Gwada,  stated that her outfit and other development partners were very happy about the good results achieved and lauded the efforts of CSOs, including the Rural Initiatives for Self-Empowerment (RISEGhana), Integrated Youth Needs and Welfare (INTYON) and Participatory Rural Development Action (PARDA) for mobilising community entry points for the project implementation.

The Navrongo Health Research Centre conducted the Baby Mother Facilty Initiave study led by Dr John Williams as the principal investigator.

The resaerch, the principal investigator said, revealed that through the project implementation,  qualified and competent staff had been trained to offer  quality and  improved maternal and neonatal care services, including the provision of essential drugs and functional equpiment to the health facilties.

He said unlike before, the respect and dignity for maternal and newborns had been restored, and indicated that the research had also recommended that the GHS should develop an intergrated and consolidated unified Maternal  and Newborn Care Health  Quality improvement model to be used by all agencies and also make sure that leadership ensures the integration of Every Mother Every Newborn quality improvement standard model into all in-service training programmes.

“The Ghana Health Service should ensure the sustainablity of the clinical mentorship  component of the Every Mother Every Newborn quality improvement standard model which effectively enabled lower staff to learn immediate skills from specialists,” the research recommended.


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