Dr Samuel Agyeman Boateng, the Suhum Municipal Health Director, has cautioned women, especially those in the rural areas, to avoid using dangerous tools, chemicals and concoctions to abort pregnancies.
He said such dangerous abortions are the cause of the high maternal mortality being recorded in the country and that it hampers efforts the government and the global bodies to eradicate to reduce maternal deaths.
Dr Boateng was speaking to some rural women at Dawa, a community in the Suhum Municipality, on Thursday at a one day sensitization programme funded by STAR Ghana and organized by SEND Ghana in partnership with Rural Watch Ghana.
The programme was aimed at reducing maternal mortality to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) target on maternal health by 2015.
He appealed to women to do away with certain mythical traditional beliefs concerning births and to rather report early at the hospitals for their antenatal care to ensure smooth delivery.
He also mentioned that religious beliefs such as going to sleep at prayer camps and shrines during pregnancies instead of going to hospital should stop since that practices tend to endanger their lives when they do not take any medication during pregnancy.
Dr Boateng said more midwives were undergoing training to reduce, if not eradicate, maternal deaths.
He also urged the women to patronize the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) since with that their maternal health care would be absolutely free.
Mrs Harriet Nuamah, a Maternal Health Official from Accra, advised men not to neglect the wives during pregnancies and said “it is the responsibility of all to ensure that we care for the pregnant women so that they can deliver successfully.”
Madam Esther Mante, a Public Health Nurse at the Suhum Municipal Health Directorate, also advised parents of teenagers who get pregnant not to despise them but to send them to the hospital for proper care.
Mr Collins Nti, Programme Coordinator for the Rural Watch Ghana, said they were determined to ensure that in the next two years Ghana attains the MDG target of 185 to 1,000 births.
“At the moment we are at 350 to 1,000 births which means we still have a lot of work to do and Rural Watch Ghana and its partners are not going to relent in our efforts to meet that goal,” he said. GNA