New joint maternal-and-child record book introduced

As a measure for health workers to access a mother’s previous health record to trace and treat their new born children with untoward medical conditions at or after birth, the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Services have introduced a combined maternal and child health record book. This two-in-one health record book is given to pregnant women at the antenatal clinic and same is required to present during postnatal clinics for continuity of treatment of any ailment the mother reported at pregnancy that might have biologically transferred to the baby. It is against this backdrop that the Sekondi/Takoradi Metro Health Directorate settled on riding on this year’s Health Promotion Week to champion the cause of children under five years. The weeklong Health Promotion Week was themed: ‘Combine Maternal and Child Health Record Book: Working together for a Healthy Family Life’. This was to educate pregnant women on the essence of the new combined health record book and also sensitize them on some vital information in the book that need to be observed during antenatal and postnatal clinics. The Deputy Director of Nursing Services (DDNS) of Public Health at the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital, Eva Annor Mozu, noted keeping separate health record book has not been helpful in the past, indicating “sometimes you have certain information on the mother’s card that you will not find it in the child’s card but once it has been put together you can get all the information that you will need”. She added: “If there is any problem you can trace it from the beginning to the end we say that this book is the gateway for the mother and the child to enjoy good life”. The Metro Health Directorate over the years has been advocating 30 minutes after birth breastfeeding, urging mothers to put their babies on breast milk just after delivery. Authorities say response has been progressive, recording percentage increase from 93 in 2016, 91 percent in 2017 and 94 percent in 2018 recorded cases. The Western Regional Nutrition Officer, Isaac Baba Anagi, argued best nutrition for children starts from the first breatmilk given. “Initiating breastfeeding right from delivery ensures good nutrition from the mother…and it has been shown that these children grow healthy and don’t fall sick regularly.” He warned children who are denied early breastfeeding largely do not grow healthy like their peers since their development is interrupted “definitely the child’s development is interrupted this child doesn’t get that adequate protection the child gets from breast milk”, he claimed. He also alerted that such children are prone to diseases like “pneumonia, childhood killer diseases and if care is not taken and exposed to poor sanitation the child can have diarrhea which is a  contributor to child deaths”.

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By Loveridge Ampratwum Okyere||Sekondi-Takoradi|Ghana]]>