|Madam Innocentia Anthonio|
A principal nursing officer at the Ho Municipal Hospital, Madam Innocentia Anthonio, has asked pastors to desist from keeping pregnant women in prayer camps and instead refer them to the health centres for ante-natal services.
According to her, some pastors have turned themselves into midwives admitting pregnant women in prayer camps until their conditions get critical before rushing them to a health facility.
Speaking at a day’s orientation for media practitioners in Ho, on the importance of maternal health issues, Madam Anthonio said deaths from childbirth were largely preventable but delays of pregnant women in getting to health centres coupled with weird religious beliefs contribute to maternal deaths.
“You cannot do deliveries; your job is to pray. So don’t delay them, let them come to the hospital to deliver” Madam Anthonio said, stressing that “am not against prayer but give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar”.
She advised pregnant women to take the attendance at antenatal clinics seriously to ensure their safe delivery.
Madam Anthonio also called on the media to engage in a crusade to get people to understand all that go into maternal healthcare.
Attitude of Health workers
Participants at the programme also pointed to the bad attitude of some health workers towards patients, as a major factor which discouraged people to seek services from the facilities.
Dr Kwesi Asare Bediako, Medical Superintendent of the Keta Government Hospital, alluded to the claims and said many clients, including pregnant women virtually shrink at the need to have to return to the same facilities that they were mistreated and could keep postponing the visit until they were rushed back in critical condition.
He however disclosed that the Ghana Health Service has begun a training programme for its staff across the country on customer care. “Poor handling of clients is a major challenge in the health service; but we are changing. We are conducting in-service training for all categories of staff in customer care”.
He also disclosed that the GHS has included customer care in the curricular of all health training institutions and “all students who enter the schools are train in customer care especially in communication skills”.