GAMBIA: Health Ministry Applauds President Jammeh for Free Maternal, Child Health Services

July 2014 TheDailyObserver; The acting regional nursing officer of Western Health Region (1) Rohey Jammeh applauded the Gambian leader, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya Jammeh for rendering free maternal and child health services to pregnant women and children under five years of age. Madam Jammeh made these remarks last Friday, on behalf of the regional health director Western Health Region (1) Alhagie Saine, during the ‘African Maternity Day celebration’ organised by Western Health Region (1), and hosted by Yundum Health Centre in West Coast Region.

The celebration was part of the efforts of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoH&SW) to achieve Millennium Development Goal (MDGs) number four. “President Jammeh rendering free maternal and child health services to pregnant women is geared towards reducing maternal and child mortality and morbidity and putting functional referral system, in order to ease the movement of maternal and sick children,” Jammeh informed mothers. She called on Gambian men to take the leading role in maternal and child health issues, by giving financial, emotional and psychological supports to women during pregnancy, child birth, as well as lactation period. The acting regional nursing officer of Western Health Region (1) appealed to men to allow women to have family planning services, in order to space between their children so that they can gain their health status before subsequent pregnancies. She explained that family planning helps to reduce maternal mortality by 60%, if only the women have accessibility. “Communities should also be in the forefront to form blood donation groups within their localities, by providing blood to women when the need arises to save their lives and let me tell you (people) that anemia and hemorrhage are one of the leading causes of maternal death,” the acting regional nursing officer stated. Madam Jammeh described the day’s celebration as important, because mothers play an important role in society and nation-building, in particular. “There is significant reduction in maternal mortality rate in the country and a lot also needs to be done to completely reduce this rate on time before it is late,” she noted. For her part, the OIC at Yundum Health Centre, Adama Jobarteh said women die as a result of complications during and after pregnancy or childbirth, adding that most of these complications develop during pregnancy.

“The complication that accounts for nearly 75% of all maternal deaths are, severe bleeding (mostly after child birth), infection (usually after child birth), high blood pressure during pregnancy (pre-eclampsia, eclampsia), complication from delivery, unsafe abortion, among others, are caused by or associated with disease, such as malaria, AIDS during pregnancy,” Jobarteh informed mothers.

She said all the above-mentioned complications could be prevented or managed by skilled health personnel at health centre to avoid maternal death. According to Jobarteh, most maternal deaths are preventable, as the health care solution to prevent or manage complications are well-known.

She thus thanked Gambian leader, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya Jammeh for making maternal and child health services free for all Gambian women.

Ousman Bojang, the alkalo of New Yundum commended the officer-in-charge (OIC) of New Yundum Adama Jobarteh and her staff members for their dedication to services. Bojang promised the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare that his villagers would continue to render their support to the health centre. According to him, they are not doing it for the members of staff, but for them and the country at large. Shortly before the end of the ceremony, certificates of participation were presented to thirteen (13) traditional communicators, who attended a three-day training workshop on Reproductive Health messages, organised by the staff members of the health centre.


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