Five new district health facilities in the Northern Region have been selected to benefit from the maternal health programme being implemented by Savana Signatures.
The Technology for Maternal Health project is under a programme known as “Mobile for Access” is a mobile platform that provides educative information about maternal health issues to expectant mothers.
These new facilities are Bimbilla, Daboya, Buipe, Salaga and Gushiegu hospitals. Savana Signatures is already implementing Mobile 4 Access in five (5) hospitals. These include Yendi Hospital, Savelugu Hospital, Tamale West Hospital, Tamale Central Hospital and Kumbungu Hospital which saw overwhelming increase in Ante-Natal Care (ANC) attendance, skill delivery and reduced maternal death rates as a result of the platform.
To facilitate the implementation of the programme, Savana Signatures have organized training for 20 health personnel including data entry clerks, midwives, community health nurses and community health volunteers from the selected hospitals.
They were taken through how to use the mobile 4 Access platform, registration procedures, how to use android mobile phones and the software for the registration, and how to design and package maternal information using power point presentations to communicate maternal health information to expectant mothers among other topics.
Mobile 4 Access is an innovative use of a mobile phone designed by Savana Signatures to help reduce maternal and infant mortality in Northern Ghana.
According to the Executive Director of Savana Signatures, Mr. John Stephen Agbenyo, Mobile 4 Access initiative which is being financed by CORDAID, IICD and Connect4Change would not only help to increase Ante-Natal Care (ANC) attendance rates in these facilities, but it would also help to reduce maternal deaths and skill delivery among other things.
The programme would achieve this by delivering easy to understand maternal health information to expectant mothers at a distance in the form of Voice and SMS messages in their local dialects.
The platform, he said is designed to complement Ghana Health Service (GHS) and for that matter the Government of Ghana’s efforts aimed to reduce maternal death rate in the country towards the achievement of post Millennium Development Goals (MDG) on Maternal health.
Addressing personnel from the newly selected facilities during a 5-day training, Mr. Agbenyo said, the platform when effectively deploy would help the beneficiary hospitals to reduce maternal mortality, encourage ANC attendance, improve skill delivery and effectively communicate maternal health information to expectant mothers.
He said it would also encourage expectant mothers to regularly seek medical attention from health professionals on maternal related issues. “This platform has worked well in the 5 hospitals increasing the demand for our services by other facilities. Its success rate however will depend on how each facility responses to the project”, he said.
Mr. Agbenyo said the platform also has the potential to help reduce the incidence of birth complications which usually result in deaths.
As a way of making greater impact, Savana Signatures with the financial support from CORDAID, ICCD and Connect4Change has expanded the programme to include these five new district health facilities, he said.
The programme, apart from delivering automatic customized voice and SMS messages to expectant mothers based on their gestation periods (from the beginning of the pregnancy to delivery) also organizes capacity building training for health professionals and knowledge sharing sessions.
These knowledge sharing sessions, he explained, offer opportunity to both midwives and expectant mother to interact and share knowledge and experiences on maternal health issues. He added, “It is also a platform that also offers expectant mothers the opportunity to learn new things about maternal health from qualified health professionals”.
“Apart capacity building training, we will provide each beneficiary hospital with a laptop, projectors and projector screens and smart phones to aid the implementation of the project.”, he said.
Mobile 4 Access is being implemented by Savana Signatures in collaboration with the Northern Regional Directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), and Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and is aimed at making maternal health information accessible to all expectant mothers to reduce maternal death rates in the Northern Region and for that matter Ghana as a whole.
The Director urged the management of these facilities to see the platform as a complementary service and effectively use it to communicate maternal health issues to expectant mothers to reduce maternal death rate in the region.
Savana Signatures (Savsign) is a registered Non-For-Profit Making Organization whose mission is to promote the development of youth and women through education and knowledge sharing.
As a civil society organization, Savsign ultimate goal is to create a society where all people have equal access to and use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) for academic, professional and individual career development, social and economic growth and assert their right to a wide range of services for a better and quality life.