Mashed Bananas, Dettol and Maternal Health

Last week I headed back out into the Western Region with the Pro-Link team for another Healthy Mother & Child training session with nurses from various district health facilities. We also delivered some of the IEC (Information, Education and Communication) materials which included posters about breastfeeding and staying away from using herbs to trigger contractions. HalfAssiniBreastfeedingPoster
Director Trudi Nunoo spoke with various district health personnel about the Mummies, Daddies and Adolescent clubs which educate about maternal health and provide ideas for local communities to prevent dangerous situations, such as lack of transportation to clinics. This is a real problem for some of the more rural communities. When a woman is facing birth complications often she can’t get a taxi to take her due to lack of money and also because of the mess she might make in the back seat. Communities are working out various ways to raise funds and have a reliable transport referral system. Drivers want to know they’ll get paid, plus they want Dettol to clean up and disinfect their vehicles. In some areas churches are working on ways to get the funds and in others it’s the nurses.
I was lucky to witness a Child Welfare Clinic in Essiama with Ellembelle District Public Health nurse Judi Okine. Judi was there to give a presentation to mothers on nutrition and the best foods to use when weaning a baby off breast milk after they’re six months old. She laid out a table with a blender to create a watermelon juice, and also demonstrated how babies can eat mashed yams and mashed bananas. I was privileged to watch the weigh-in and some vaccinations (not popular with the little ones).

Judi gives moms nutrition tips at Essiama market.

Judi gives moms nutrition tips at Essiama market.

Another focus of the trip was to check in on the construction of some maternal health facilities. In Nkroful, we saw that the health centre was almost complete…I’m sure a relief to the moms who have had to give birth in a temporary set up next door.
Entrance to the temporary birthing room.

Entrance to the temporary birthing room.

NkrofulDeliveryBedNkrofulMothersA very cool trip giving me lots more insight on the Healthy Mother & Child project.

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