AngloGold Ashanti Ghana, Obuasi Mine has partnered with develoPPP health, a Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) health programme, to launch a campaign on infection prevention and control for improved maternal and child health in Obuasi.
The current maternal mortality rate in Ghana stands at 310 per 100,000 live births.
This figure is above the World Health Organisation (WHO) accepted standard of 70 out of 100,000 live births, with the majority of maternal deaths resulting from bleeding and other infections during or after childbirth.
Anglogold Ashanti through its partners; GIZ and the Health Directorates in both the Obuasi East and Municipal Districts have pledged their commitment to stem the tide and improve maternal and child health in both districts.
According to the Senior Manager of Sustainability at AngloGold Ashanti, Emmanuel Baidoo, the company has collaborated with GIZ to come out with a pandemic preparedness program to be implemented in Obuasi.
To promote Maternal and Child healthcare, Mr. Baidoo underscored the need to train healthcare professionals, especially nurses and midwives, to build their capacity to prepare them to prevent and control infections.
“Today we are to launch a training program for midwives and nurses in infection management as part of specific activities under the collaboration with GIZ, all to promote maternal health which is critical for saving lives of mother and children”.
He said the promotion of children and maternal health is a key element in AngloGold Ashanti’s social development outcomes under the 10-year Socio-Economic Development Plan, which is targeted at improving quality health care delivery in Obuasi.
Beyond the training, the Sustainability Manager said Anglogold Ashanti is also focused on providing medical equipment and support for other government health facilities in and around Obuasi.
“Last two (2) years, we completed and handed over a maternity block with the State of the Arts equipment to the Obuasi Government Hospital. We will continue in our quest to contribute immensely to healthcare delivery for our people “.
Throwing more light on the training program and other interventions, Dr. Paul Okyere, a lecturer and Public Health Promotion researcher at the Department of Health Promotion and Education, School of Public Health, KNUST said COVID-19 has taught countries to be adequately prepared for an outbreak of a pandemic hence it is important to build the capacity of healthcare professionals as far as maternal and child is concerned.
He said at the end of the program, 85 health workers from both the Obuasi East and Municipal Health Directorates who are service providers, are expected to be trained on the need to prevent infectious diseases that threaten the lives of children and women.
Dr. Okyere again added that as part of the campaign, a series of sensitization programs have been lined up.
He said, “we have developed jingles to be played on community information centres as well as radio discussions on infection prevention”.
Margaret Yaa Manu, the Obuasi Health Director, said the training is timely since it is important for health professionals to undertake refresher courses to enable them live up to the task in order to protect mothers and babies from infections including COVID-19.