Pregnant women urged to report infections during pregnancy to the hospital 

By Samira Larbie, 

Accra, July 10, GNA-The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has urged pregnant women to urgently report infection-related illnesses to the hospital to ensure the safety of the unborn. 

 Dr Marion Okoh-Owusu, the Director, Family Health Division of the GHS said this was crucial as infections during pregnancy were dangerous to both the unborn baby and the mother. 

She made the call at a national stakeholder dissemination meeting organised by the GHS in collaboration with the PATH on the “Integrated Antenatal Care Services, Infection Prevention and Control” in Accra. 

Some infections that affect women during pregnancy include bacterial vaginosis, chlamydia, HIV, cytomegalovirus (CMV), hepatitis B, gonorrhoea and syphilis, among others. 

Dr Okoh-Owusu said more pregnant women were losing their lives and that of their babies due to neonatal infections, adding that, it was thus important for women to start antenatal clinics as soon as they miss their period and follow instructions of health workers. 

She cautioned pregnant women against treating suspected infections at home and by themselves to prevent maternal mortalities.     

The two-year Project, implemented in the Bono East Region was targeted at pregnant women, nursing mothers and newborn babies and aimed to reduce maternal and infant mortalities in the region. 

The objective was to introduce proven diagnostic technologies and upgrade provider ANC skills in infectious disease screening and treatment at the primary healthcare level for the prevention of mother-to-child transmissions.  

Five districts including Techiman South, Atebubu-Amantin Municipalities, Nkoranza North, Kintampo North, and Sene West Districts benefited from the project. 

It also saw the capacity building of relevant staff, referral for culture and sensitivity testing where necessary, and treatment of infection in pregnant women. 

Dr Fred Adomako-Boateng, the Bono East Regional Health Director, while commending the GHS and PATH for piloting the project in the Region said the implementation had seen an increase in hospital visitations by pregnant women. 

He said the Region had also seen an increase in the number of pregnancy schools from the initial five to 39 with over 8,000 pregnant women educated on pregnancy infections over the period. 

Dr Adomako-Boateng however recommended that the GHS use Combi 10 to screen all pregnant women in the country as it had proven to be efficacious than Combi 2 being used currently. 

Combi 10, a urine test strip is a diagnostic tool used to determine the pathological changes in urine. 

“The cost of Combi 10 should be made part of the facilities budget to make it sustainable” he added.  

The Bono East Regional Health Director also among other things called for the establishment of antimicrobial stewardship systems in the country to reduce the threat of Antimicrobial Resistance. 

Dr Patience Cofie, PATH Country Manager, urged the country to ensure that every pregnant woman who visits a health facility goes through all the systematic tests outlined under the project. 

This would ensure that pregnant women infected get the necessary tests done and treated if need be.   

She called for the project to be expanded to other parts of the country to ensure every pregnant woman in Ghana goes through safe pregnancy, delivery and having their babies survive.