NGO makes gains in reducing maternal mortality through mobile technology

Savanna Signatures, an NGO in the Northern Regional capital Tamale, has made gains in reducing maternal mortality through developed technology-based mobile telephony in four project districts in the Region.

Project Officer of Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) of Savanna Signatures, Abdul-Rashid Imoro, briefing journalists at a day’s workshop for health workers in Tamale, stressed the need to sustain the project after a sponsorship from Star-Ghana ends this year.

He said some health facilities in the Northern Region had recorded zero maternal mortality due to the mobile phone technology introduced by the NGO in the area.

“The Tamale Teaching Hospital recorded 52 maternal mortalities in 2012 and the figure reduced to 47 after Savanna Signatures introduced its technology in 2013. The Kings Village Medical Centre recorded one death in 2013 and zero as at October 2014 and the Savelugu Hospital recorded two in 2013 and zero as at July 2014.Yendi recorded six in 2013 and zero in 2014 and the Tamale West Hospital had two cases this year as against five in 2013”.

He indicated that Savanna Signatures was able to help achieve the feat because it had provided expectant mothers with weekly Short Message Service (SMS) in English and voice calls in Dagbani for those who cannot read, and the technology gave timely information to the expectant mothers on information about their state of pregnancy.

Statistics from the global challenge from the United Nations indicates that each year, more than 350,000 women in the developing world aged 15-49 die of pregnancy and child-birth related complications.

About 2.6 million children are stillborn, and a further 8.1 million die before their fifth birthday, including 3.3 million babies in the first month of life.

Ghana is lagging behind in attaining the Millennium Development Goals four and five. This target is aimed at reducing child mortality and improving maternal health.

Statistics from the Northern Regional Health Directorate indicates that in 2009, 96 women died during delivery, 88 in 2011, and 130 in 2012, and from January to June 2013, 70 women died during delivery.

But with the $220,000.00 support from Star-Ghana, Savanna Signatures has hopes to reduce maternal mortality in the four districts in the region through the technology based project in the Kumbungu, Yendi and Savelugu Municipalities as well as the Tamale Metropolis by the end of December 2014.

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