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Mr Daniel Degbotse (with microphone), Head of Monitoring and Evaluation of the Ministry of Health explaining a point during the dialogue. Picture: Nii Martey Botchway

Health workers’ attitude keeps pregnant women away from health facilities — Research

Research conducted by Send-Ghana, a civil society organisation, has established that the disrespectful attitude of some nurses and midwives is deterring pregnant women from accessing healthcare facilities.

It, therefore, recommended that the Ghana Health Service (GHS) should take pragmatic measures to orient health workers on the importance of being polite when providing maternal health services, to help improve client-health provider relationship.

It indicated that improving client-health provider relationship could help decrease maternal mortality resulting from the many deliberate deliveries outside of the health facilities.

Presenting the highlights of the survey to the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders in Accra yesterday, the project leader, Mr Bashiru Jumah, said the objective of the study was to assess clients’ satisfaction relating to the delivery of maternal health services at district facilities.

He said over the last two decades, Ghana had made some appreciable progress in healthcare delivery and maternal health in particular.

“Access to healthcare facilities by pregnant women increased from 1990 to 2015, which saw the reduction of maternal mortality from 780 out of every 100,000 births to 320 of every 100,000 births,” he said.

More interventions required

Mr Jumah said those achievements were as a result of government interventions  which included the introduction of the community-based health planning services and the free maternal health policy adopted between 2000 and 2008.

However, he was quick to add that although those interventions were helpful, it could not help the country to achieve its Millennium Development Goal five, which required all member countries to reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio.

“It is obviously not accepted for any woman to die giving birth because they refused to go for antenatal and be delivered in a health facility due to the fear of being manhandled by some health worker,” he said.

Mr Jumah said, however, that 88 per cent of the 5,311 respondents sampled from 30 districts in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions expressed satisfaction with general services at the district health facilities.

He said it was also proven that clients’ satisfaction on their first antenatal visit to health facilities determined their future visits.

“To increase clients’ satisfaction and confidence in health services, measures should be put in place by the GHS to monitor health professionals to ensure adherence to the code of conduct or ethics of the health profession,” he said.

Ministry’s remarks

The Head of Monitoring and Evaluation of the health ministry, Mr Daniel Degbotse, said the findings enumerated by the research were not new, and added that the ministry and its stakeholders were already in discussions on how to resolve those issues.

He, however, expressed appreciation to Send-Ghana for the initiative and expressed the ministry’s commitment to resolve all those issues in a bid to ensure the provision of optimum healthcare delivery so that no expectant mother’s life was lost through avoidable causes.

He said although the ministry was up and doing, it would require frequent collaborations and inputs from CSOs including Send-Ghana to ensure the ministry did not relent on its efforts.

On behalf of one of the implementing partners, Christian Aid, Mrs Abena Yirenkyiwaa Afari expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Health for acknowledging the findings of the research and committing to intensify efforts to resolve them.

 

Writer’s email doreen.andoh@graphic.com.gh

 

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