A leading member of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Fanteakwa North District of the Eastern Region, Mr. Gabriel Keesi Yeboah, has launched a campaign against stillbirth which is becoming a topical issue at the Begoro District Hospital.
According to reliable information, the hospital has recorded nine stillbirths, representing 26.6 percent, in the first quarter of the year as against six, representing 16.6 percent, for the whole year of 2022.
In the quest to find solutions to the alarming situation, Mr. Gabriel Keesi Yeboah, who popularly known as Gabby One, last week Wednesday presented some items to the hospital at a short but impressive durbar.
The items include infant scale, toddler scale, examination lamps, multifunctional beds, delivery sets, baby warmer, delivery bed, bandage adhesive, alcohol pads, lanats, scan gel, drip stands and BP monitor.
Presenting the items, Gabby One hinted that as part of his birthday celebration, which coincided with Mother’s Day, compelled him to celebrate the hospital, particularly mothers on admission.
Gabby One disclosed that he was emotionally touched when the Director of the hospital, Mr. Owusu Ansah Kojo, told him about the rate of stillbirths the hospital had recorded within the first quarter of the year.
Mr. Gabriel Keesi Yeboah continued that he promised the Director of his commitment to help fight the situation, after he had been conducted around the facility to have firsthand information about some of the challenges that it was facing.
He holds the notion that quality healthcare delivery must be a collective concern amidst contributions of the people, and not only central government, regardless of the core mandates of the latter.
Mr. Gabriel Keesi Yeboah mentioned that the current situation, if not addressed, could affect the collective goal of the country to achieve the Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG4), which was aimed at reducing the under 5-years and infant mortality.
He explained that the under 5-years mortality rate had declined, but the neonatal and stillbirth rates were yet to follow this reduction.
Receiving the items, the Begoro Hospital Director confirmed the statistics of stillbirths and expressed grave concern over the lack of health infrastructures and logistics in the district, adding that the hospital had not seen any major rehabilitation works since its establishment.
He indicated that the hospital was one of the deprived in the country, a condition which was making it unattractive for doctors and nurses to accept postings there.
The District Health Director for Fanteakwa North stressed that the equipment was going to assist the health team to respond to emergency cases across the thirteen Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds in the area.
Kojo Ansah disclosed that due to lack of maternal care delivery, many pregnant women consulted traditional birth attendants in the district, adding nine pregnant women lost their babies in 2023.
Mr. Owusu Ansah Kojo, affectionately called by colleagues as OAK, propounded interventions such as focusing on family planning, antenatal care and quality training for Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA) in the district to help control the situation.
He further called on all stakeholders, particularly the government, to help provide adequate care, the necessary equipment and interventions needed during childbirth.
The District Health Director for the Fanteakwa North averred that “The Every Newborn Action Plan” targeted a stillbirth rate lower than 12 per 1,000 births in every country by 2030, requiring a 4.2% reduction in the global stillbirth rate per year.
The Begoro District Health Director mentioned that the period from the onset of labour until birth was the most high-risk period for the mother and child, where 45% of all stillbirths occurred, and that it was, therefore, important for quality care during pregnancy and childbirth in lowering the stillbirth rate.
He attributed risk factors associated with stillbirth in the district to, including but not limited to, maternal age, antenatal care visits, education level and birth presentation, and unskilled birth attendants.
He said that they would upgrade Ahomem to CHPS compounds and locate the equipment to save more patients in the area, which was part of Networks of Practice (NOPs), community participation in the network was critical in generating demand, while also strengthening the capacity and leadership of health centers as effective hubs of the network.
He has been organising free health screening and donating surgical equipment to some health facilities for the past six years in the country.
In a related development, the Fanteakwa NPP leading member donated other items to Nations Builders International, an orphanage school located in the district capital, Begoro, to support its operations.
Things such as pillow cases, bed sheets, clothes and many other items were donated to the school earlier in the same day.
Alex Awatei Dankwa, Founder and Executive Director for Nations Builders International, also extoled Mr. Keesi Yeboah for the items donated to the needy children.