Albert Futukpor, GNA
Tamale, Sept 19, GNA – The country’s efforts to reduce maternal and infant mortality has received a boost with the introduction of a Safe Delivery App, which guides midwives on how to handle complications connected to pregnancy and childbirth.
The App, developed in collaboration with Universities of Copenhagen and Southern Denmark, used simple, animated instruction videos, procedures, drug lists and e-learning tools to guide skilled birth attendants in basic emergency obstetric and newborn care to ensure safe delivery.
The Maternity Foundation, a Non-Governmental organisation, based in Denmark, in collaboration with NORSAAC and the Ghana Health Service, piloted the SDA at some health facilities in Tamale, Tolon, Kumbungu and Savelugu from January to October, 2018 to ascertain its impact on midwives.
The findings of the piloting of the App, which were presented at a dissemination meeting in Tamale on Wednesday, showed improvement in midwives’ knowledge and case management skills as well as confidence in handling emergency maternal cases.
The dissemination meeting, which was attended by officials from the GHS and midwives drawn from the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions, was also to come up with action plans to help scale up the use of the App in the country.
The Maternal Health Survey report for 2017 showed that maternal mortality rate stood at 310 per a 100,000 live birth in the country.
Madam Abukari Amishetu, Senior Midwife at Tolon Health Centre, who used the App during its pilot phase, described it as useful as “It gives directions in videos, which help in managing cases especially complications”.
Other midwives, who also used the App during its pilot phase, lauded it saying it became a reference point for them because it had lessons in especially videos of all what they learnt in theory in school and therefore, made their work easy.
Participants during the meeting proposed that the App be introduced to pre-service and in-service trainings to scale up its use in the country to ensure safe delivery.
Statistics by the Maternity Foundation showed that there were 583 downloads of the App in the country, where 33 per cent of it was being used at primary health facilities, 37 per cent being used at secondary health facilities, 15 per cent being used at tertiary health facilities, 13 per cent at other facilities and two per cent by others.
Madam Lauren Bellhouse, Programme Manager of Maternity Foundation said the SDA was currently used in 20 other countries across the world assuring that efforts would be made to scale up its use in the country to ensure safe deliveries.
Mr Aminu Danaa Issah, Monitoring and Evaluation Manager of NORSAAC said more midwives in the northern part of the country would be trained to use theit to help reduce maternal mortality.
Madam Charlotte Kanstrup, Senior Advisor, United Nations Population Fund, Accra (UNFPA) highlighted the UNFPA’s role in helping to reduce maternal mortality in the country saying the app would help to significantly ensure safe deliveries in the country.