Australian government commended for improving maternal health services

Chuchuliga (UE), Oct 9, GNA - Residents of Chuchuliga and its environs in the Builsa North District of the Upper East Region have commended the Australian government for providing the Chuchuliga Health Centre with an ultramodern maternity ward, saying it has improved maternal health service delivery.

The residents made the commendation when Mr Gregory Andrews, the newly appointed Australian High Commissioner to Ghana, paid a visit to the facility to inspect and interact with residents and health workers of the health centre.
It was part of a working visit to some projects in the country, being funded by the Australian Government.

The Australian Government, through its High Commission in Ghana led by Mr Andrew Barnes, the then High Commissioner, funded the construction of a 20-bed capacity maternity ward for the Chuchuliga Health Centre in 2019.

The project which was facilitated by the Rural Initiatives for Self-Empowerment-Ghana (RISE-Ghana) has two lying wards with 20 beds, two delivery rooms, consulting room and washrooms and electricity connected.

Ms Juliana Anam-erime, the Builsa North District Director of the Ghana Health Services said the support by the Australian High Commission was a big relief to the numerous infrastructure challenges of the Health Centre and improved quality health care for clients.

She recounted that before the construction of the new maternity ward, the facility had only one structure with only two beds in which all health services were rendered to clients.

Ms Anam-erime said unlike the old structure, where clients especially pregnant women sat outside of the facility for lack of space and beds to lie on, the new facility was spacious and all pregnant women who visited the facility had more beds to lie on and spend as much time as it was required of them.

The District Director noted that the facility had restored the privacy clients needed whenever they visited the health facility and encouraged more people to seek health care instead of staying at home or travelling to Navrongo or Sandema hospitals.

Ms Anam-erime revealed that apart from the 122 deliveries the facility had performed from January to September, 2020, Antenatal daily attendance had increased from about 36 in 2019 to 45 in 2020 within the same period while delivery rate increased from 26 per cent to 32 per cent.

While appealing to government to provide more infrastructure to equip the facility to provide quality health services to the people, the District Director also appealed to the High Commission and other institutions to assist the facility with an ultrasound machine for the midwives to be able to detect any abnormalities in pregnancies before delivery.

Mr Awal Ahmed Kariama, the Executive Director of RISE-Ghana noted that the Australian High Commission had earlier provided the facility and three others with Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Materials that curbed the challenge of relatives of pregnant women travelling far distances to fetch water.

The Australian High Commissioner expressed satisfaction at the manner in which management of the health centre had properly maintained the facility and the fact that it was achieving the intended purposes.

Mr Andrews noted that Australia had a robust health system and its government was committed to assisting Ghana improve upon quality health care delivery for all people, so as to improve the wellbeing of the people and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly goal three.

Mr Andrews said he would work with other foreign embassies in Ghana to help assist the health centre with the ultrasound machine and accommodation for the health workers.