A new national campaign aimed at creating awareness and sensitising the public on the need to take maternal and newborn health more seriously was launched Monday in Dormaa in the Brong Ahafo region.
The project is championed by a group called newborn champions and seeking to add impetus to the already great effort being made to ensure maternal and newborn babies survive in Ghana.
The group is made up of volunteers whose main aim is to advocate as well as sensitize mothers and expectant mothers and the masses on what to do to save their lives and that of their babies.
In Ghana, a newborn baby dies every 15 minutes, resulting in about 30,000 deaths annually. Many interventions have been made to reduce newborn deaths.
In spite of all measures to reduce the death of newborns, the mortality rate still remains high. Many health experts have described this as a frightening statistics that calls for an outrage from all.
Leader of the advocacy group, Nana Hemaa Adwoa Awindor, described the situation as worrying and one that needs immediate national attention.
She explained that “we want to go out and advocate as well as solicit for funds and products as well as everything that could keep our babies warm and healthy”.
She also added that “the champions group is more interested in mothers and would-be mothers to take care of themselves before the new baby is born…we also campaigned to support and take our nurses and midwives through specific training on how to handle the newborn baby”.
Special guest for the programme and Minister for Health and MP for Dormaa central, Mr. Kwaku Agyeman Manu commenting on the launch lauded the group for such a positive initiative adding that “there should be a lot of education to the mothers in order to minimize maternal mortality and perspective mothers should take the advice given them by health professionals in order to save their lives.”
Dr. Adoma Fordjour, Paediatrician at the Dormaa Presby Hospital also added that “we want to bring down the newborn mortality rate. In Ghana, the neonatal mortality rate is 29 per 1000 live births and so we would like to create so much awareness and bring everyone on board and together, we can newborn mortality in the country.”
She, however, believes that the time had come to change the story from maternal mortality to child survival.
Other dignitaries who graced the occasion included Odeneho Akosua Duaben II, Paramount queen of Dormaa traditional council, Dr. Jacqueline Asibey of Techiman holy family hospital, Dr. Appiah, B/A newborn focal person.