Women in all stages of pregnancy wait patiently to hear, "So) kpem na" (meaning “next” in Dagbani) by the nurses on duty. One patient shuffles into the consultation room while the other shuffles out. Throughout the week, midwives take shifts, being ready for any necessary procedure but on these three days time is set aside for the antenatal clinic visits.
Recently, four CHAG (Christian Health Association of Ghana) facilities were selected in all of Ghana to continue launching the Safe Motherhood community drive. The King’s Medical Center is elated to share that we are one of the four that were selected. This week, Dr. Duah trained the maternity ward staff on the progression of the initiative.
The staff overall had positive feedback and are eager to start putting it into practice the program has had wonderful success thus far. According to the Central Intelligence Agency, last year 319 out of every 100,000 deliveries ended in a life lost during pregnancy and/or delivery; either the mother, the child, or in some cases both. The majority of maternal mortality is due to ignored routine antenatal clinic visits and facility-based deliveries. It is crucial, during pregnancy, for mothers to attend antenatal clinic visits in order to receive all necessary health services and other birth preparations. Participating in ANC will prepare the mother for birth and possible complications both medically speaking and emotionally. The number of unnecessary, and mostly preventable, deaths has challenged some individuals to take action. The Christian Health Association of Ghana has piloted a creative program to help increase safe motherhood. The program includes using bangles as a motivation for women to take part in their clinic visits and postnatal counseling. The program was initiated through St. Elizabeth Catholic Hospital in Goaso and noticeable results were gained from it.
This is the program that King’s Medical Center was selected to help continue to develop. The concept is simple but powerful. Each visit the woman attends during pregnancy she will receive a bangle. The first visit would take place during her first trimester. The mother would attend her appointment, receive the necessary health services and would then receive the red bangle. This continues till after the baby is born in which the mother would have all three bangles.
By collecting all the bangles, meaning all appointments have been made, the mother has a higher chance of survival during pregnancy and delivery and will be encouraged to have a facility-based delivery. The ultimate desire and purpose for the bangles is to encourage and motivate women to take the necessary precautions during pregnancy and delivery, including attending clinic visits and choosing hospital delivery. The King’s Medical Center is honored and excited to begin participating in the program and help have an impact in increasing the rate of safe deliveries.
Safe Motherhood Initiative Website