Poverty alleviation fund managers- SEND-Ghana is alarmed by the soaring increase in maternal mortality in the Northern Region.
Records from the Northern Regional Health Directorate revealed that 57 maternal deaths have so far been recorded for the mid year of 2015.
A breakdown of statistics indicated that 212 maternal deaths were recorded in 2012 against that of 2013 which declined to 99.
The death toll further reduced to 66 in 2014 which the regional health directorate described as positive change.
SEND-Ghana is unhappy about the trend for which reason the organization is training over 50 community volunteers in the Northern Region to champion maternal health in their respective localities.
At a two-day training workshop in Tamale, SEND-Ghana’s Programmes Manager, John Nkaw narrated the project’s rationale to Citi News on the sidelines.
“The enormous challenge facing the Ghana Health Service is maternal mortality: in this regard SEND-Ghana is working with its partners to train community champions to propagate the crusade on maternal health.”
He said the Millennium Development Goal 5 on reduction of maternal mortality was on the organization’s priority list, hence the implementation of the project.
“SEND-Ghana is implementing a project called ‘Improve’ which simply means improving maternal mortality through participatory governance.”
According to him, the community champions are required to train about 6,000 peer educators by the end of the project.
Labeled as community champions on maternal health, religious and opinion leaders, Traditional Birth Attendants, Queen Mothers, Magazia’s and Assembly Members are being trained to help stop the alarming situation.
He tasked them to use existing traditional structures and platforms to achieve behavioral change on maternal health.
Northern Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Jacob Mahama said family planning accepted ratio was very low in the region.
He inspired the community champions to assist the health directorate and its development partners overturn the situation.
“We try to train the TBAs as link agents who will bring the pregnant women in labour to health facilities to deliver and this is exactly what SEND-Ghana is doing here: training community champions so that they can influence the behavior of our mothers.”
Dr. Jacob Mahama commended SEND-Ghana for implementing the project in 15 out of the 26 districts in the Northern Region for a start.
He pledged his administration’s commitment to secure funding to upscale the project in the remaining districts.
SEND-Ghana is spearheading the project in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service.
By: Abdul Karim Naatogmah/Citifmonline.com/Ghana