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Some religious leaders are to be blamed for maternal mortality in Ghana;  – Senior midwife

Pregnant Woman Cuts Her Stomach Open Due To Labour Pains Copy

According to UNICEF, a woman dies every minute worldwide from complications in pregnancy and childbirth largely due to poor access to health care services, socio-economic factors and postpartum haemorrhage.

Over the years, Ghana has seen a decline in its maternal mortality ratio from 319 per 100,000 live births in 2015 and 263 per 100,000 live births in 2020. Despite this progress, the reduction has been gradual, and Ghana has fallen short of the sustainable development goal 3.1 target to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030. Philomena Owusu Domfeh is a senior midwifery officer at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital and has over the last twelve years of her career, helped to deliver over one thousand babies.

Although there has been a gradual decline in maternal mortality in Ghana, more efforts are required to achieve the SDG target. Philomena believes that some religious leaders in the country are responsible for contributing to the number of maternal deaths. She claims that these leaders often discourage women from seeking timely healthcare treatment, especially if it involves Caesarean sections.

“For some of them, the ultimate is delivering through the vagina which is not the only route of delivering babies. Delivering through the vaginal or abdomen is all very normal, the most important is for both the mother and baby to be healthy. “
Philomena painfully recounts how a mother and her twin babies both died after allegedly being told by a pastor to not allow doctors to perform a caesarean section on her. “ all these things give us problems in delivering quality care to the mothers. Some of the pastors even give the pregnant women stickers to put in water to drink. These things must be stopped.”

Philomena is however calling on relevant stakeholders to ensure these practices are stopped in order to further reduce the country’s maternal mortality rates.

Source: Ghana/ Umar Uthman

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