Maternity Program in Traboum
In Ghana, the ratio of maternal mortality and newborn morbidity has increased dramatically. In December 2014, the number of deaths of mothers and newborns has increased from 350 stillbirths
per 100,000 live births to 380 stillbirths per 100,000 live births. The number of women that died due to pregnancy related causes increased from 1,020 to 3,100 during the same period.
Many of these fatalities could have been avoided by good antenatal care and information. That is why Madamfo Ghana came up with this programme. In our awareness-classes, well trained
employees of Madamfo Ghana give advice on what to do to prevent the worst, e.g. visiting antenatal/medical check-up institutions.
Experts have identified the following facts as main causes for the issues described above:
1. There is a lack of antenatal check-up institutions in most parts of our catchment areas. Most municipalities of the Brong Ahafo Region and the Ashanti Region do not have any health care
stations, which means that pregnant women do not have access to antenatal support. They only get support from traditional healers, or from other people, especially women that have already given birth to children.
2. Pregnant women barely make use of antenatal support. In some of the areas with health care stations, pregnant women do not make use of the services of midwives, because they either
think that their service is not important, or they cannot afford it.
3. Poorly trained personnel. In some areas, employees of health care stations do not have enough knowledge on pregnancies and the complications that can come along with it. That is why a little problem – that could have been taken care of in advance – can eventually have
fatal impact on the mother or the baby during delivery.
4. Large distance between village and the next health station with antenatal support. Most people live far away from places that offer antenatal support. Since they have no means of transportation, they cannot get there – so, they are not able to make use of it. The lack of transportation can also be a problem for the provider, because the patients cannot be reached.
5. Economic poverty is one of the main causes of maternal mortality and newborn morbidity in Ghana, more precisely in the Brong Ahafo and the Ashanti Region. Most health care institutions
do not offer ultrasound scans. People would have to travel to institutions that offer this service, but they simply cannot afford the trip. Financial preparations or financial planning that could
help pregnant women remain undone. Certain aliments pregnant women consume do not provide necessary nutrients.
6. Poor education and poor knowledge on pregnancies and complications that come along with that. Most people – men, as well as women – do not know much about pregnancies and the problems caused by that come along with that. That lack of knowledge has negative effects on
most pregnant women and newborns.
7. Superstition is still strong in most municipalities. The general believes that prevail in most municipalities trigger the high ratio of maternal mortality and newborn morbidity. For example, a pregnant woman is not allowed to eat aliments that are rich in protein, but that would be so
important for the healthy development of the child. Another belief is, that women should not show themselves throughout the first trimester of their pregnancy. Others believe, that the first born must die, so that the future children have a chance to survive. All these believes increase
maternal mortality and newborn morbidity.
Pragmatic solutions for the problems identified above: programmes and projects
1. A team of experts and well trained personnel will inform and educate the people, thus raising the awareness in areas without health care stations or health care services.
2. Pregnant women that do not make use of antenatal support get informations on pregnancies and complications that can come along with it.
3. Extra-occupational education for personnel with small knowledge and lack of experience in certain areas of antenatal care via scholarships and workshops that take place on a regular basis.
4. A team of experts can overcome the distance and teach male and female members of the municipalities on-site.
5. The awareness of the population towards saving money for basic needs during a pregnancy and after delivery has to grow, so that the ratio of maternal- and newborn mortality decreases.
The poorest women need the support of aid and charity organizations.
6. Experts, traditional leaders, and opinion leaders have to use their voices to fight superstition.
Conversations, informational videos or a symposium can be tools to be used for that purpose.
7. Women have to understand the importance of visiting a health professional or a midwife, as
soon as their menstruation is overdue – and stick to their advice.
Challenges for the team:
1. Financial and logistical challenges
2. (Public) Transportation
3. Employees and personnel
4. Support and organization by the population
5. Motivation of the population (e.g. mosquito net)
Presentation of the project:
Construction of an outreach-post for reproductive and children’s health in Traboum, Ashanti Region of Ghana.
To battle maternal and newborn mortality and to supervise high-risk pregnancies with medical
expertise, we’ve built an outreach-post right next to the clinic in Traboum. At that location, women
can give birth and the newborns are taken care of professionally. At the same time people can
achieve information on family planning and sexual education.
Costs: 15,000 EURO
Support of our Maternity Outreach Programme
A team of experts and well trained personnel will inform and educate the population, to raise the
awareness in areas without health care stations or health care services.
Status: in progress
Costs: 360 EURO per training