In Ghana, and other developing countries, three factors have been identified as the main cause of the deaths of pregnant women, who are ready to deliver. The three factors which are described as the three delays are:
1. Delay in the home
2. Delay in Accessing Health and
3. Delay at the heath facility,
The First delay storms from lack of information and inadequate knowledge for pregnant women to respond quickly to initial warning signs of labour. Others are also said to delay at home because, they have no funds to pay for services at the health facility.
Apart from these, certain traditions and cultures demand that women in labour seek approval from either the husband or other male relatives, before being taken to the health facility to deliver, which in most cases put these women in labour so much at risk.
The Second delay – is linked with the delay in readily accessing health facilities when in labour. The situation is even worsened by poor roads, lack of transportation, poor communication networks. Some women in emergency situations, are likely to die if they are delayed on their way to the hospital.
The Third delay has to do with women who are not given immediate attention on arrival at the health facility.
Studies have confirmed that some women, whose lives could have been saved, died due to the lack of preparedness of still birth attendants to provide emergency obstetric care.
Further information our reporter Leslie McCarthy gathered is that if there is likely to be no change in the current levels of maternal health care between 2005 and 2015. About 12,000 more mothers will die and the nation stands the risk of losing 12million dollars (¢108billion cedis) in productivity from maternal deaths.
How To Address Maternal Mortality
This can however be mitigated by improving maternal health care.
Though the government has taken a step in the right direction by making maternal health care free, yet there are many other challenges which must also be addressed to ensure a drastic reduction in maternal mortality.
These interventions should include the training and maintaining of more skilled birth attendants, improving communication and road networks especially, in rural areas, making health facilities easily accessible and also ensuring that the blood banks are well stuffed to save the lives of women who may suffer from complications of bleeding during delivery.
If the government would take these seriously it will definitely go a long way to save the lives of many women and children at birth.
Source: Leslie McCarthy/peacefmonline
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