CHARLIE TOWN, River Cess County –The Officer-In-Charge (OIC) of the Charlie Town Clinic has called on stakeholders in Rivercess County to support the construction of maternal waiting home at the facility.
Maternal waiting homes (MWHs) are constructed near government health facilities to accommodate pregnant women who are in their last month, but live more than an hour of walking distance away from the health facility.
According to the Ministry of Health policy, one must be at most an hour away from a facility to have access to health delivery system. But unfortunately, the government is unable to reach that standard.
In August 2016, an official of the county health team told reporters that 90% of MWHs in the county are not in used.
Recently, a ground breaking ceremony for the construction of a maternal waiting home at the Charlie Town Cilnic was held in Timbo Health District, and clinic’s OIC, Helen Kermu said when the MWH is completed it will help improve maternal health in the area.
“I can’t say this will stop maternal death, but at least it will reduce it,” Kermu said. “There are some of our pregnant women living far from the facility, but with this home, we can monitor them.”
According to her, communities are providing “low cost” and “local materials” for the project.
“Each of the 27 communities is contributing 40 sticks with US$10.00 for the project,” Helen disclosed, “For other materials like zincs and cement, we are calling on all stakeholders to contribute [those] to the project.”
While speaking during the ground breaking ceremony, Mr.Matthew Walley, a resident of the community donated LRD$ 5000 as his contribution.
Mr. Walley, however, called on the public to join hands with the OIC and her staffs to ensure that the project is completed.
Report from the county health team says there are five maternal deaths this 2016, although constraints associated to reporting about the situation may be lead to inaccurate data.
The reproductive health supervisor of the county health team Madam Farzee Johnson says maternal waiting homes are crucial to maternal health.
“It is important to have maternal waiting homes at every facility,” Johnson said. “If these women were at a maternal home, what happened to them would not have happened.”
Report By: Eric Opa Doue