Media

Negative attitude, an affront to maternal health service delivery

The negative attitude of some health professionals in maternity wards has been cited as a challenge to maternal health service delivery in rural Ghana.

Speaking at a maternal health communication and advocacy training workshop for selected journalists from the Upper West, the Upper East and the Northern regions of Ghana in Tamale last week, Mr. Raymond Wekem Avatim, SEND-GHANA's Director of  Livelihood Security Programme, argued that, issues related to maternal health  particularly in the three regions of the North must be critically looked at . 

According to him, though statistics show a decline in maternal mortality rate, we are far behind meeting the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5.

“Some of the critical issues that are making it impossible for us to meet this goal are mostly human related particularly issues of behavioural change and service delivery. The negative attitude exhibited by some health professionals discourages pregnant women from seeking antenatal services as well as visiting healthcare facilities for supervised deliveries, thereby increasing the risk of maternal and infant mortality.”

He therefore urged journalists to play a role by ensuring that these issues are monitored in order that target groups get the services that they are entitled to.

The workshop which was organized by SEND –GHANA under the theme: “Strengthening partnership with the media for effective maternal health reporting” aimed at deepening media interest in and understanding maternal healthcare related issues and the quality of reportage of same.

Making a presentation on the topic: “Effective media reporting on maternal health (approached, skills, competencies and values), Mrs Linda Asante-Agyei, the Treasurer of the Ghana Journalists Association, said the behaviour of some health professionals leaves much to be desired. CSOs and media are walking the same path but are not collaborating enough to expose some of these issues.

She revealed that part of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) fund is given to Members of Parliament (MPs) to support maternal health delivery but wondered how many journalists monitor how these funds are applied.

There are doubts about the maternal health ratio. These doubts are coming from health professionals. She urged journalists to investigate this claim.

In order to communicate maternal health issues well to one's audience, there was the need to get the right information, package it well and present it, she added.

On his part, Mr. Joel Nyaaba, Health Promotion Officer at the Northern Regional Health Directorate, advised that the patient charter should be printed in local languages to enable patients understand their right and demand it at health facilities.

The training forms part of Improving Maternal Health Service Delivery through Participatory Governance (IMPROVE) project, a European Union (EU) funded project being implemented by Christian Aid and SEND-GHANA.

Journalists at the workshop pledged their commitment to follow up on IMPROVE results and write good stories by applying the skills acquired.

Source-SEND-GHANA

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