Samira Launches Project To Fight Maternal And Infant Mortality

Ghana’s Second Lady, Samira Bawumia and her Empowerment and Humanitarian Projects (SEPH)  has launched “The Safe Delivery Project” in Salaga, the East Gonja Municipal capital of the Northern Region to fight  the alarming rate of maternal and neonatal mortality in rural communities in Ghana.

The Project, launched under the theme: “Promoting Safe Deliveries and Ensuring Healthy Infants”, would provide up to 100, 000 birth kits with necessary supplies and essentials for safe infants delivery in rural areas across the country where maternal and infant deaths are high.

The overall ambition of the project is to help reduce maternal and neonatal mortality towards UN’s Sustainable Development Goals’ target of 70 per 100,000 live births and 12 per live births, from the current figures of 319 deaths per 100,000 live births and 29 per 1,000, starting from the East Gonja municipality which has the highest maternal and infants cases in the country.

Speaking at the launch, Samira said the SEHP Safe Delivery Project aims to contribute to the reduction of maternal and neonatal mortality through education, training and provision of well resourced birth kits to expectant mothers across rural Ghana, and also a comprehensive approach to tackling the problem of neonatal and maternal mortality.

She said though there were many other issues as far as women’s health is concerned, maternal health and neonatal mortality was her greatest and the most heartbreaking concern.

Quoting the World Health Organization (WHO) figures on maternal mortality, Mrs Bawumia said more women and mothers, most in developing countries, continued to die during pregnancy and childbirth related complications such as severe bleeding/Hemorrhaging, Infection/obstructed labour/, High blood pressure and Unsafe Abortions.

She acknowledged the “evidence based and high impact interventions” implemented by the  Ghana Health Service and Ministry of Health to address the health concern but swiftly added that such interventions are weighed down by another set of challenges such as inadequate funding, human resource and adequate supplies.

“It is again this background that my not for profit organization; Samira Empowerment and Humanitarian Projects (SEHP) has initiated the Safe Delivery Project to support their efforts”, the Second Lady announced, adding that “the need to improve maternal health and ensure safe deliveries requires attention from all sectors of our society”.

She said for the first phase of the project, all registered women in their third trimester from the East Gonja municipality would receive the birth kits, but to qualify, the expectant mother must have made at least one antenatal care visit in her third trimester.

“Through this project, we can change the narrative so far as maternal and neonatal mortality is concerned. We need to drastically reduce the alarming numbers. These are not mere numbers but women, mothers, wives, sisters and loved ones. We hope that through this project we can transform the lives of our expectant mothers and improve their Reproductive health and contribute to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals’ target of 70 per 100,000 births worldwide”

“Also, at every point in the process, data collected will be analyzed to access the impact of the birth kits in reducing maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity before forwarding to the relevant state institutions. I therefore urge all of you to support this project in order to make it successful”, she concluded.

Hundreds of guests including students, residents, health officers, chiefs and political party executives attended the event organized at the residence of the overlord of the area, Kpembewura Babanye Haruna Deri IV.

The chief was thankful to the Second Lady and her project team for the intervention but laid bare his frustrations about portion of the Eastern Corridor road that cut through his traditional area and abandoned.

The Second Lady responded, promising to add her voice to the growing list of lobbyists trying to attract attention for the construction of the road.

By: Ghana/ Tanko