'Discuss Reproductive Health With Your Children'

The Vice Chairperson of the Greater Accra Chapter of the Ghana Registered Midwives Association (GRMA), Hajia Damata Sulemana, has asked parents to open up to their children about reproductive health issues rather than shying away from them. She said that was necessary to provide their children, especially the young girls, with a fair idea about their sexual health and also enable them to make the right decisions about sex. “When you talk to them and you don’t shy away from the facts, they would always rely on the professional advice of health professionals rather than relying on quark doctors for medications,” she said. Hajia Damata made the remarks during a sensitisation seminar for some members of the Muslim community in Accra last Friday. The interaction formed part of activities organised by the Greater Accra chapter to celebrate the International Day for Midwives, which falls on May 5, every year but the Greater Accra chapter of GRMA are carrying out some more events to mark the day. This year’s celebration, which was on the theme, “Midwives Changing the World One Family at a Time,” was meant to educate the public on the role of midwives, who provide care that changes the lives of mothers and babies, as well as families, communities and the world as a whole. Unsafe abortion Hajia Damata said it was not advisable for young girls who got pregnant to resort to unprescribed medications to terminate their pregnancies. She said such decisions could lead to fatalities and also damage their reproductive organs that could result in infertility. “Please visit a health facility to be counselled for safe abortion and if you are in school and you get pregnant, you can still continue your education while getting the proper medication from the midwives until you deliver,” she said. Hajia Damata said it was unreasonable to frown upon teenage girls who got pregnant, adding that the discrimination only endangered the lives of the young girls rather than protect them. Midwives need more support The Regional Chapter Trustee and Special Co-ordinator of GRMA, Ms Ester Quaye-Kumah, said midwives needed an enabling environment to be able to perform effectively. She said there was the need for a national consensus on efforts to achieve universal, sustained, and equitable coverage of essential interventions in sexual, reproductive, maternal, and newborn health “of which our nations responds to 1.1 million pregnancies per annum by 2030 in rural areas”. Ms Quaye-Kumah spoke about the challenges associated with the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), and mentioned that the current delivery fee of GH¢ 34.72 paid for private practitioners in midwifery under the scheme was inadequate, while the late reimbursement of funds was slowly affecting the healthcare delivery for private practitioners. She, therefore, called for more investment in midwives and the midwifery profession in order for them to do more to save lives.