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Male Involvement Key To Reducing Maternal And Child Mortality   
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Mrs. Latifa Alhassan delivered her fifth child on April 19, this year, at the Karaga Polyclinic in the Karaga District and was discharged same day.

       Back to her home at Nyensobga, the 29-year old mother, was surrounded by her husband, Alhassan Yakubu, and some relatives - all providing any support she needed. Mrs. Alhassan and the baby looked healthy. She was happy to have a supportive husband and relatives assisting her as she began to nurse her baby.

      Mr. Alhassan always accompanied her wife to the health facility for ante-natal care. He was also on hand when she was in labour at the health facility.

     He has been helping the wife to undertake household chores. Mrs Alhassan attributed the safe delivery of her child to the support she received from her husband.

      Husbands’ assisting their wives to especially seek ante-natal care has become common place in many communities in the Karaga and Mamprugu/Moaduri Districts of the Northern Region.

     In some communities, the decision about a woman’s health care; to visit a health facility during pregnancy has always been made by the husband.

      Stories are told of instances where pregnant women suffered complications and or even died through child birth because the husbands to sanction any decision to send them to the facilities were either not at home when the women were in labour or simply refused to give their consent to delivery at a health facility.

     According to the Northern Regional Health Directorate, maternal mortality in the region reduced from 115 in 2007 to as low as 19 deaths by December, 2014.     

     The situation took a dramatic upward trend in 2015 when the region recorded 92 maternal deaths. In 2016, a total of 130 maternal deaths were seen with 426 children aged from zero to 11 months old also dying during same period.

     The government and its development partners have been implementing a number of interventions to reverse the trend. Prominent among these are the free maternal care, the training of more midwives and construction of Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds in remote areas to deliver essential health services to especially pregnant women.
Source: GNA

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