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Maternal mortality partly caused by ‘untrained’ doctors
From: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Isaac Essel          Published On: February 15, 2013, 14:00 GMT
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Maternal mortality partly caused by ‘untrained’ doctors
The Society of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians is advocating for doctors to be trained in birth attendance as a means of reducing maternal mortality.

The country’s maternal mortality rate currently stands at 340 deaths per 100,000 births according to Health Minister Sherry Ayittey, who quoted the statistic during her vetting before Parliament’s Appointments Committee. She called on health care providers to intensify education on antenatal care for women.

However, during its annual general meeting in Accra Friday, the Society of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians suggested that the problem could partly be blamed on untrained health care practitioners.

Joy News’ Hannah Odame, who attended the meeting, reported that according to the Society, the majority of maternal deaths at health facilities occurred at the hands of doctors who have no or little knowledge of birth attendance techniques.

The society is therefore proposing what they called ‘Task Shifting’ to train more doctors in delivery, she said.

Society President Prof. Yaw Kwaku Kume told Joy News that midwives should also be trained in that area.

“If a woman is bleeding, you do not need to call an obstetrician gynaecologist to remove the product from the womb, you can use other doctors or midwives...and that would reduce maternal mortality from incomplete abortion.”

He said although the training is ongoing, the Society want to liaise with the Ghana Health Service to accelerate it and establish a road map towards its completion.

Prof. Kwaku Kume hoped more people would be reached in the rural areas to enable the country to reach its Millennium Development Goal of improving maternal health.

Meanwhile, the Ghana Health Service says it has trained more traditional birth attendants to discharge their jobs effectively and instructed them on the need to quickly refer complicated issues to specialists to save lives.

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