Traditional birth attendants asked to cease delivering pregnant women

Traditional birth attendants in the Ellembelle district in the Western Region have been asked to desist from delivering pregnant women of their babies in a new move that is geared towards reducing maternal and neonatal deaths in the area. The district health directorate has consequent to that initiated a campaign to educate the various traditional birth attendants of the need to bring due pregnant women to health facilities to be delivered by midwives. “Currently, the campaign is that we don’t want traditional birth attendants to deliver women, but we rather want to partner with them so they can bring the women to health facilities,” the district health director Dr. Marion Okoh – Owusu said. Per the 2018 maternal and neonatal ratio chart, Ellmbelle district records 191 deaths in every 100,000 births. Sixteen deaths are also recorded in every 1,000 births per year. Many pregnant women in the Ellembelle district patronize the services of some unregulated traditional birth attendants, a situation that cause them to either lose their lives, babies or even both. The Ellembelle health directorate is keen to reduce the high ratio to meet the national target of 54 per 100,000 live births through an intervention dubbed “Accelerated Actions to Improve Maternal and Newborns Survival (AAIMS).“…we want to take steps to help achieve the target of zero maternal death that’s why we have introduced AAIMS. The reason is that we don’t want any pregnant woman to die” she stated Dr. Oko-Owusu said the target cannot be achieved in isolation hence they have been meeting traditional birth attendants to train them to identify danger signs in pregnant women and the need not to delay in taking them to health facilities on time to avoid complications. Also, the health directorate is spearheading the introduction of school model where a family member accompanies pregnant women to pregnancy school for both to acquire knowledge on keeping pregnancies safe. Meanwhile, one traditional birth attendant from Asanda, Mary Nyona, who has for 23 years been delivering women of their babies, has complained about the negative attitude of some midwives towards them.

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She said such attitudes make it difficult for them to work effectively with the midwives. “The last time I sent my client to one of the hospitals, they delayed to attend to her and as a result, we lost the child meanwhile other people came to meet us there. She added: “the midwives don’t regard us when we want to team up with them. I have done this work for 23 years now and none of my clients have died or lost her child” she said. First time expectant mother, Gifty Ackah of Ampain in the Ellembelle district after witnessing several maternal deaths in her area, does not want to compromise on her pregnancy hence regularly attends antenatal clinic and the pregnancy school. “I know about 10 women who died at my area during delivery and about 5 still borns. I don’t want to experience same that is my I attend antenatal clinic every month. I want to advise other pregnant women in the district to be punctual to save themselves and their unborn child” she said. By Loveridge Ampratwum Okyere||Ghana]]>