200 rural women benefit from free ultrasound scan
200 rural women benefit from free ultrasound scan – Two hundred pregnant women in the Oti region have benefited from a free ultrasound scan delivered by the Divine Mother and Child Foundation (DMAC) in collaboration with Vodafone Ghana.
The 3-day scheme which held from 4th to 7th August covered women in the Kedjebi and Ahamansu communities of the region, many of whom were noted to have defaulted antenatal attendance due to their inability to travel long distance for Ultra Scan Service.
The NGO has since 2015 delivered free Ultrasound Scan Services to about 15,000 pregnant women mostly in rural parts of Ghana.
Ghana Health Service recommends at most three Ultrasound Scans for pregnant women before delivery for better monitoring of health conditions of foetus and mother but ironically, Ultrasound Scan Services are unavailable in most health facilities particularly in the rural areas.
Therefore, pregnant women are mostly referred to premier health facilities, District and Regional Government Hospitals for the service which many fail to comply due to multiple factors including financial challenges.
Executive Director of DMAC Foundation, Edmund Atweri Duodu reiterated the importance of the scan saying, “Ultrasound Scan services are a very important component of antenatal care however lacking in most health facilities in rural parts of the country leaving Pregnant women to their fate regardless suspicion of abnormalities in their pregnancy.”
“The free ultrasound scan service has been beneficial. It has saved even pregnant women who had Intra Uterine foetal deaths, those with breech Positions among others were quickly referred for emergency care. We do it together with midwives and nurses in the beneficiary communities so we provide ANC services and health screening simultaneously,” he said.
He told Starr News that more infrastructure, logistics and skilled midwives are needed to fill the gap in healthcare delivery in the rural areas to help reduce the ratio of maternal and neonatal mortalities.
Following the high Maternal Mortality ratio in Ghana as 319 per 100,000 live births and the neonatal mortality rate, 29 per 1,000 live births as at 2016, the World Health Organization in 2016 after assembling health experts in Geneva issued new series of recommendations to improve the quality of antenatal care to reduce the risk of stillbirths and pregnancy complications and give women a positive pregnancy experience.
Key among the recommendations were increased contact hours for pregnant women by health Providers and at least One ultrasound scan before 24 weeks’ gestation (early ultrasound) for pregnant women to estimate gestational age, improved detection of fetal anomalies and multiple pregnancies, reduced induction of labour for post-term pregnancy, and improved pregnancy experience.
The Community Ultrasound Scan Service delivery by the NGO continues to record massive patronage by Pregnant women anxious to determine the health condition of their fetuses, breech position if any, Sex, and most importantly accurate date of delivery.
Story by Kojo Ansah