The Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH), in collaboration with the Latter-Day Saint Charities and the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has organised a one-week training programme for maternal and neonatal health care providers in Northern Ghana.
Participants, including paediatrician doctors, nurses, midwives, and birth attendants, were drawn from the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions.
The training was meant to improve maternal and neonatal health care, as well as reduce maternal and neonatal deaths in the three regions of the north.
Topics treated during the workshop, which were mixed with practical demonstrations, included “Helping mothers survive bleeding after birth”, “Essential care for every baby”, and “Essential care for small babies”.
Speaking in an interview with Daily Graphic after the workshop, the Programme Specialist of the Latter-Day Saint Charities, Dr Issac C. Ferguson, said the training was designed to help participants achieve mastery of competencies needed to safely and effectively prevent, detect and manage postpartum haemorrhage (bleeding after birth).
He said the materials for the workshop were action plan and job aids meant to assist health providers in the management of neonatal health care and the third stage of labour.
He said the training was organised for maternal and neonatal healthcare givers in the three regions of the north due to the high records of maternal and neonatal deaths in the area.
Dr Ferguson said a similar training programme was organised for some of the participants in 2016, and that the 2017 edition was a continuation of what they did the previous year.
He said after the 2016 training, it had improved neonatal healthcare in the three regions of the north, adding that the Northern Region was adjudged the best in neonatal health care in 2016 by the Ghana Health Service.
He said it was important that health practitioners were retrained in some new technologies and skills needed for delivering quality health care to expectant mothers and new-borns.
For his part, Dr Shaun Odell, a Neonatologist, encouraged the participants to continually use the techniques they had acquired at the training to improve the quality of service they gave at their health facilities.
He expressed worry that most often, people failed to apply new techniques they were taught during training programmes, thus defeating the purpose of the training.
He said maternal and neonatal deaths continued to rise in many developing countries, including Ghana, due to some poor practices.
Dr John Oglesby, a Specialist in Maternal Haemorrhage Prevention, said bleeding after birth was one of the major causes of death among expectant mothers.
He, therefore, admonished health practitioners who attended to women in labour, to ensure that they prevented bleeding during labour to save the lives of expectant mothers.
“They should understand how to take care of a baby with low weight and they should understand how to take care of a normal baby and how to stop bleeding during child birth”, he advised.
A Paediatrician Specialist at TTH, Dr Alhassan Abdul-Mumin, however attributed the high incidence of maternal deaths in the Northern Region to late referral of expectant mothers to health facilities for medical interventions