Maternal Mental Health Project re-launched in Tamale

Monday 10th September, 2018

By Wayo Rosemary, GNA

Tamale (NR), Sept. 10, GNA – A Maternal and Mental Health Project (MMHP) has been launched to improve maternal health and livelihood outcomes among the poor and vulnerable women and girls.

The Gub-Katimali Society, an NGO in collaboration with the BasicNeeds-UK partnered the Ghana Health Service (GHS) for the implementation of the three-year (MMHP) dubbed: “Enhancing Maternal Mental Health of 29,520 pregnant women and mothers and their children to realise maternal and child health in Ghana”.

Mr Adam Yahaya Dokurugu, Programmes Manager of BasicNeeds-Ghana, said mental health is a contributing factor to poor maternal health in the country due to the stress and anxiety associated with pregnancy.

He said the Maternal Mental Health Project is to be implemented in seventy four target districts of the Greater Accra, Upper West, Upper East, Brong Ahafo and the Northern regions.

Mr Dokurugu said the Gub-Katimali Society in collaboration with the BasicNeeds-Uk first launched the project in 2016 but halted for repackaging purposes due to some challenges.

He said as part of the project, the extremely poor would be supported with skills training or any livelihood activity as well as providing them with working tools after the training to make them independent.

Mr Abdul-Razak Alhassan, the Project Officer, said the objective of the project is to improve maternity outcomes of vulnerable women and their children and to reduce suicide outcomes of these vulnerable women.

He said the objectives would be attained by training 800 nurses, 400 mid-wives and 900 community mental health officers to understand mental health issues and support the training of Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) to always refer pregnant women to health centres for safe deliveries.

Sheikh Yakubu Abdul-Kareem, the project coordinator, said there are high rates of maternal mental disorder because of the lack of facilities for delivery and this informed the reason for screening at the early stages of pregnancy to prevent children being born with disorders.

He said 95 volunteers would be trained to take care of mentally challenged and epileptic people and their care givers and mothers with mental health issues would be identified and supported.

Dr Braimah Abubakari Baba, the Northern Regional Coordinator of the project, expressed concern about the absence of a psychiatric hospital in the Northern Region despite the existence of the Mental Health Law, Act 856, which is in line with the policies of GHS.