Pregnant woman shuns Caesarian Section for prayer camp, dies in labour

One of the four maternal deaths recorded in the Ledzokuku Municipality in 2022 involves a pregnant woman who, fearing Caesarian Section (CS), went to a prayer camp and later died in labour.

Madam Jacqueline Sfarijlani, the Ledzokuku Municipal Director of Health Services, said all four cases were largely due to anaemia during pregnancy, late reporting to health facilities, and the patronage of prayer camps and healing centres for fear of Caesarian Section (CS).

She said: “When a woman comes at 36 weeks and her HP is below 11, it is a risk factor because one of the causes of maternal mortality is haemorrhage (bleeding during the delivery process).

“So, if her HP is low and care is not taken or no intervention, we may lose her and that is one of the cases in Greater Accra and the Ledzokuku Municipality as well,” she said, adding that, often, pregnant women reported to the facilities late.

In 2021, the Directorate recorded six maternal deaths.

The Municipal Health Director said the fear of CS was a major concern and called for concerted efforts from all stakeholders to demystify the service.

Madam Sfarijlani said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at the 2022 annual Performance Review meeting organised by the Ledzokuku Municipal Health Directorate at Teshie.

It was on the theme: “Addressing healthcare delivery gaps for equity in health coverage through intensifying health promotion interventions, optimising the use of data and technology to improve access to quality healthcare and strengthening preventive and control measures for emergent and re-emergent public health events”.

The meeting was to assess the work of health facilities in the Municipality in the previous year based on the objectives of the Ghana Health Service and discuss challenges, and achievements, and learn best practices to improve health care coverage.

Madam Sfarijlani said key interventions for 2023 included a sensitisation programme for pregnant women on CS and dieting.

She said the Directorate was also working to reduce anaemia during pregnancy.

“A lot of work has been done to reduce maternal mortality and we want to intensify our pregnancy schools, thus move the pregnancy schools from the facilities into the communities so that we get closer to them, we will talk to them about the interventions and ensure that we fortify their iron folate constantly to boost the iron in the blood.”

Presenting the health care coverage by the various facilities in the Municipality, Mr Charles Banafo, the Administrator at the LEKMA Hospital, identified a reduction in antenatal care services, which had led to maternal complications during delivery.

He said: “We didn’t do well because they were not coming, if you are pregnant, it is not a disease, but you need to come for antenatal services within the first trimester for us to see that everything is okay.”

He called on all, particularly husbands and relatives to commit themselves to the safety and well-being of pregnant women.

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