Three young women at Goaso in the Asunafo Municipality in the Brong Ahafo Region lost their lives when they attempted to terminate their pregnancies using a drug known as cytotec.
In this regard, the Asunafo North Municipal Directorate of Health Services has issued a stern warning to all chemical and pharmacy shops which are selling the drug to women for the purpose of termination of pregnancies to stop forthwith, since it is illegal to do so.
It stressed that maternal deaths from abortions was a big challenge facing the directorate.
The Municipal Director of Health Services, Dr Kofi Asemanyi-Mensah, who made this known at Goaso, cautioned, “In case we trace the death of any lady to your illegal sale of cytotec, you would be found culpable of aiding the commitment of a criminal abortion.”
“I would urge all Nananom and opinion leaders to help in educating the youth on the dangers of committing abortion,” he stressed
Dr Asemanyi-Mensah, however, explained that it was possible to have a comprehensive health insurance scheme which identified certain health facilities, especially the private hospitals which were already providing abortion services, and arrange with them to provide those services and be reimbursed.
He stated that payments for such health care would be different for basic services.
The Municipal Director expressed the concern when he was inaugurating a six-unit nurses quarters valued at GH$25,OOO for the Goaso Government Hospital.
The project, which took about six months to complete, was financed by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Asunafo North, Mr Robert Sarfo-Mensah.
Under the auspices of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), MPs are provided the opportunity to present health-oriented development projects for consideration and funding.
Already, the MP has assisted in the renovation of the Mim Urban Health Centre, provided logistics for the facility and provided street lights to the centre, as well as renovated the Gyasikrom Community-based Health Place and Services (CHPS) compounds from a similar NHIA fund.
Besides, Mr Sarfo-Mensah has completed a laundry project for the Goaso Government Hospital from his share of the MPs common fund while the Ministry of Health has brought in equipment for the facility.
Dr Kofi Asemanyi-Mensah said despite the measures put in place for women to be delivered at the health facilities, some of them were still delivered at home, adding, “We do not know whether cost is still a factor, since the insurance scheme covers both ante-natal clinic and delivery”.
He said in order to avoid delay in attending health facilities, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) had been signed with the various transport unions to the effect that all women in labour who did not have money during the period should be conveyed to the health facilities free of charge and reimbursement sought monthly from the municipal assembly.
Dr Asemanyi-Mensah disclosed that 340 HIV/AIDS cases were recorded in 2010 as against 281 in 2009, adding that the cases included blood donors, who were screened, suspected clinical cases, pregnant women and “know your status” campaign.
He said one worrying aspect was that, out of 982 recent blood donors, 182 of them were found to be HIV positive, representing 18.5 per cent, adding that, out of 1,756 people who participated in the “know your status” campaign, 18 of them tested positive, giving a prevalence of 1.02 per cent.
The MP stated that health and education were his priority areas hence his preparedness to support those sectors in the constituency, stressing that for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to be achieved in 2015, health and education were key.
He advised the health workers, especially nurses, to give clients to the facilities the greatest care to ensure their speedy recovery.
Mr Sarfo-Mensah appealed to the NHIA to give accreditation to the various CHPS compounds to enable them to work effectively in the various communities in view of the fact that many people were reluctant to patronise the health centres and hospitals for treatment.
The Asunafo North Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Alhaji Mohammed Kwaku Doku, in a speech read on his behalf advised the nurses and the health directorate to regularly maintain the building to prolong its lifespan.
Source: Daily Graphic