Mrs. Matilda Amissah Arthur Launches Help Babies Programme in Sunyani

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By Maxwell Okamafo Asamani Addo

The wife of the Vice-President, Matilda Amissah-Arthur, has said that in 2013, the Ghana Health Service (GHS), realized that grouping all under 5 year olds, had not been helpful with regard to health projection and analysis.

Mrs. Amissah-Arthur, made the statement on January 26, 2015, when she launched a Newmont health programme called, Help Babies Breathe, Trainer of Trainees, on behalf of Newmont Ghana and Project CURE.

She said, according to the National Health Service, at least 320 out of every 1000 under five years old, die and out of this figure 120 of them are newborns and currently as a nation, we have 32 new born deaths per 1000 births which is not good .

The Second Lady said, the cause of the death have been found to be due to Infection , breathing problems and Pneumonia.

She disclosed that on July 30, 2014, Ghana launched a national new born strategy and action plan to bring attention to the high neonatal mortality rate in the country (2014-2018), adding that for the last ten years, the ratio of new born deaths has not reduced

The strategy, she stated tackles policy gaps, professional practices, community stream and recommends the establishment of a subcommittee of Newborn Care to update all essential guidelines and training manuals for new born care and coordinate all activities of the bodies concerned.

She continued that the aim was to reduce neonatal deaths by 5 percent annually, and reach a national rate of 212 percent 1000 births by 2018.

The wife of the Vice president said, the Help Babies Breath Programme, has been run by the Ghana Medical Help in the Upper East and Upper West Regions of the country very successfully, so was very

The helping baby’s breath programme, she said was a much needed approach to save new born babies and hoped that those benefitting from the training of trainees, would make good use of the training , so that they can go back and train other nurses, midwifes and community birth attendants.

Training should cascade down to the point, where every district would have a core of trainees, who can be called at any given time to train others at the various posts and also begin to implement what they have leant and commended Newmont Ghana Gold Limited for supporting the health and other aspects of the lives of the people
in the communities where they operate.

On her part, the general manager of Newmont Ahafo mines, Mrs.AdikiAyitevie ,said Helping Babies Breathe is a “ trainer of trainees “model with the goal of those trained to become trainers within their communities , adding that as an organization like Newmont values and cherish improving the lifes’ of people living in their host region thus, Brong Ahafo, especially in the area of health , so as to impact positively in their life’s .

Mrs. Adiki Ayitevie said, currently Ghana has a high rate of New born mortality rate, due to birth asphyxia, prolonged and obstructed labor identified as intrapartum events and most still born babies are as a result of that.

She said, helping babies breathe, provides training techniques of reversing the physiological effects of the birth asphyxia and for those babies, who due to trauma
and fatigue during labor, do not breathe at birth.

She concluded that the workshop that they are organizing was a sequel to the assorted hospital equipment’s valued at two million dollars that they donated two years ago to the Acherensua health Centre and five other health facilities in the Asutifi area, to help in the reduction of child mortality rate in the country as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

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