The Management of the Mother Baby Friendly Facility (MBHI) Project operating in the Upper East Region has added 42 communities to the 30 communities already under the project in the Bongo District.
This was made known at a stakeholders’ meeting in the Bongo District Hospital where staff of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), community health volunteers, assembly members, the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development, opinion leaders and staff of Integrated Youth Needs and Welfare (INTYON), a Non-Governmental Organisation, participated.
The project is being implemented in the Kassena-Nankana West and Bongo Districts and Bawku and the Bolgatanga municipalities in the Upper East Region, and sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and UNICEF.
It was aimed at ensuring that those communities enjoyed improved healthcare delivery, particularly ante-natal and post natal services and promotion of exclusive breastfeeding.
The project started in the Bongo District last year by the donation of equipment to health facilities there and advocacy focus group discussion programmes organised by the INTYON to help reduce and prevent maternal and neonatal deaths.
Mr Bentin Cabral, the Bongo District Nutrition Officer, on the behalf of the Bongo District Health Directorate, commended the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and UNICEF for their support to improve the health delivery system in the District.
Mr Cabral, who is also the Focal Person for the MBHI, said the project had helped to improve healthcare delivery and reduced maternal and neonatal deaths in the District.
He said some communities in the District were putting some negative cultural beliefs into practice, which were detrimental to the maternal and infant healthcare.
Mr Cabral urged the stakeholders to effectively collaborate with the GHS to reach out to the communities to stop such negative acts and improve healthcare delivery.
‘In spite of the fact that the project has sensitised most of the communities about the signs and dangers associated with maternal and infant health, particularly when it comes to the delivery process, majority of the women who deliver often overlook the danger signs thereby exposing themselves to danger,’ he added.
Chief Issah Ibrahim, the Chief Executive Officer of INTYON, explained that the NGO had held numerous sensitisation programmes such as drama, focus group discussions and advocacy for traditional rulers, religious leaders, pregnant women, mothers of new-born babies, husbands and community leaders to contribute towards the realisation of the National New-born Strategy and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He appealed to the Community Volunteer Health Workers and the traditional leaders to partner with the NGO to effectively implement the project to improve healthcare services in the District.
By Anthony Apubeo, GNA