Communities empowered on quality and accessible maternal health
The Rural Initiatives for Self-Empowerment (RISE) Ghana, in collaboration with the STAR-Ghana Foundation, has equipped health committee members and health practitioners in the Nabdam District on quality and accessible maternal health services.

Date Created : 9/27/2023 12:00:00 AM : Story Author : Gilbert Azeem Tiroog/

The participants known as Communities of Practice (CoPs) were trained on how to champion and demand accountability, responsiveness, and improved quality health services delivery and maternal healthcare in the district.

It was also intended to arm members of the communities of practice with their roles and responsibilities to enable them to develop a plan on how they could engage the District Assembly and other stakeholders to improve the quality of maternal health services for women.

The orientation of the community of practice formed part of a three-year project, dubbed “Gender Rights and Empowerment Programme" (G-REP), funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO).

It aims at improving access to and financing for quality maternal health care services in the Talensi and Nabdam Districts of the Upper East Region.

Mr Awal Ahmed Karima, the Executive Director of RISE-Ghana, speaking to the communities of practice, noted that privacy standards, gender-based violence, and access to quality health care remained challenges confronting women and girls, and it was important they championed evidence-informed quality maternal health services by engaging with stakeholders.

He said access to water and emergency transport systems were crucial for maternal health and called on corporate bodies operating in the district to, as part of their social responsibility, support the health facilities to improve maternal health care.

Ms Mariam Mahama, the Nabdam District Health Director, acknowledged the work of RISE-Ghana in health in the district and appealed to other non-government organisations to come on board.

“RISE-Ghana is one of our benevolent supporters, and they are really impacting well, especially in maternal health, and we welcome this support equally. We wish to work with them collaboratively to achieve good maternal health at the end of the year and even beyond.”

She said the Nabdam District was less endowed with health amenities, including health personnel, emphasising that with a population of 54,062 people in the district, the ratio of a midwife to patient stood at 1:405 while the nurse to patient stood at 1:363.

This, she noted, coupled with the absence of water, electricity, and furniture in some of the facilities, posed a burden on the health workers and called for support.