1,400 health personnel trained on child mortality in Ashanti

Gifty Amofa, GNA

Kumasi, July 14, GNA –
A six-day training workshop held in Kumasi as part of a four-year baby
mortality intervention, “Make Every Baby Count Initiative (MEBCI)”, aimed at
reducing the growing incidence in baby mortality in the Ashanti Region has

The workshop organized
by the Ashanti Regional Health Directorate, PATH-Ghana, and Children Investment
Fund (CIF), facilitators of MEBCI, saw the training of Forty-eight (48) health
officials, bringing the total number of trained personnel under the Initiative
to 1,400.

Dr. Alexis Nang-
Beifubah, the Regional Director of Health Services, in a speech to close the
event said in all, about 4,000 doctors, mid-wives, pediatric nurses and
anesthetics, have received the training in the four selected regions: Ashanti,
Brong-Ahafo, Eastern and Volta Regions in the country.

He said choosing the
Region as a beneficiary was timely due to the fact that the Region was adjudged
the highest contributor to neo-natal death in Ghana according to the Ghana
Demographic health survey in 2014, saying that this necessitated the
commencement of assessment for the Initiative in the same year.

The Ghana Health
Service (GHS) then introduced the MEBCI in the Region in July 2015 in an effort
to curb the canker.

“However, due to the
positive impact of MEBCI, the Region has earned the enviable accolade of being
adjudged the best performing Region in reducing neonatal mortality rate in
2016”, he said.

He said, a survey
conducted before the introduction of MEBCI found that more than 50 per cent of
the healthcare providers had not received any formal training in new born care
whereas basic newborn equipment, posters and protocols on newborn care were
also inadequate.

“Additionally between
September and November in the same year, GHS assessed the cause of deaths among
infants in 56 MEBCI focused facilities”, he said.

Dr. Nang- Beifubah
said as part of the programme, influential community members were identified to
serve as agents of change through awareness creation.

He commended Doctors
Rita Fosu Yeboah, newborns focal persons, Dr. Fred Adomako Boateng and David
Acheampong for committing to the success of the project which would end in
August 2018.

Dr. Patience Cofie,
Chief of Party, MEBCI (PATH-Ghana) said the three identified causes of newborn
deaths which happened mostly within their first week were prematurity,
infection and inability to breath properly.

“Thus, PATH, in
helping to address the situation, three modules were designed for the training,
they are: Helping Babies Breathe (HBB), Essential Care for Every Baby (ECEB)
and Infection Prevention”, she said.

She explained that
MEBCI highlighted the need for parent and newborn baby to maintain skin-to-skin
contact, simply to keep the baby warm, especially for premature babies who have
no access to incubators.

Dr. Patience said the
participants were not only given Essential Care Equipment but were followed up
and taken through practical examination on Objectively Structured Clinical

She admitted that
though the training had come to an end in the Region, change would only come if
they were committed and had a strong leadership or drive.

Dr Patience called on
GHS to continue to train more workers to monitor the performance of health
facilities, provide the needed equipment and continuously improve new born care
until the desired goal was reached.

“PATH would continue
to support through vaccines, drugs, devices, diagnostics as well as systems and
service innovations as it hoped new born deaths would reach single digits”, she

Certificates were
awarded to the participants.


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