A call for men to assist their partners during pregnancy and after childbirth has been strengthened following a clarion call for concerted efforts by duty-bearers to reduce maternal deaths. From January 1st to 31st October 2022, the Upper East Region, for instance, recorded 22 maternal deaths. An improvement from the number of 39 women who died last year trying to give life to another.
But, Jaw-haratu Amadu, Head of Programs at the Rural Initiatives for Self-Empowerment (RISE)-Ghana was optimistic that one of the keys to achieving maternal health delivery is male involvement.
She said, aside from the affection that comes with men accompanying their partners for antenatal and postnatal care, the couple gets some preferential treatment from health workers such as jumping long queues anytime they visit health centers as a way to motivate other men to emulate the same.
“But our men are still thinking that they are too busy to follow the women to the health facilities. From observation and data, men don’t support women when it comes to going for maternal health services,” she said.
Reiterating the importance of men in maternal healthcare, Ms. Amadu observed that most pregnant women, because of their condition, are reluctant to adhere to medication prescribed by health workers. But with the support of their partners, the pregnant or lactating woman could adhere to prescriptions.
“If the man goes to the facility with the woman when the medication is prescribed, the man will ensure that she takes the medicine for the good of the baby and the mother. And also, some men raise concerns especially when the woman goes to the facility alone and she is asked to buy some things. All these contribute to maternal health issues especially when she is denied from getting those items”, she indicated.
This came to light during a two day training of trainers in Nabdam district for women leaders, male champions, health facility leaders, and CSOs on health systems strengthening, maternal health service delivery standards, and the Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child Health (RMNCH) Scorecard.
The training was to pave the way for a project known as the ‘Gender Rights and Empowerment Program’ (GREP) to be implemented by RISE-Ghana, a human-centered CSO based in the Upper East Region.
The 3-year project, funded by the Foreign, Common Wealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the United Kingdom through STAR-Ghana Foundation is expected to improve access to and financing for quality maternal healthcare services in the Talensi and Nabdam districts.
Abdul-Rashid Imoro, Executive Director of Inspire To Act, lamented that the absence of the patient charter at some healthcare facilities contributes to inappropriate behaviors of some health workers which contributes to the dwindling health service satisfaction.
“The patient’s charter is supposed to have contacts for patients to report unsatisfactory service to the appropriate authorities. But the charter is not even available, and even the patients are not educated about it”, he stated.
He indicated that complaints about unsatisfactory health delivery often emanate from frustrated health workers who were without passion, but joined the profession to make money.
Mr. Imoro who facilitated the training schooled the participants on the importance of the patient charter and the community scorecard which he said could aid in addressing maternal and child mortality rates when followed.
Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1Mhz|Joshua Asaah|Nabdam