The International Day of the Girl Child is celebrated annually on October 11th with the aim to promote and empower girls and young women all around the world. This year, the theme for the day was “Invest in the Right of Girls, our leadership, our well-being.”
A program was organized in Zemu D/A Basic school to celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child. The school children participated in a march on the streets of Zemu. The students were carrying cards with different inscriptions related to the importance of girl child education. The march stopped at the chief’s palace and proceeded to the Zemu CHPS Zone, where a health talk was arranged. The health talk focused on two main topics; the importance of girl child education and teenage pregnancy.
The talk aimed at creating an awareness among the children, particularly the girl child, about the consequences of getting pregnant at an early age and the importance of education in shaping one’s future. The speaker highlighted the fact that when a girl is educated, she has a better chance of being financially independent, making informed decisions, and positively contributing to the development of her community.
The children also spoke out on the importance of girl child education. They carried cards with beautiful handwritten messages applauding the need to educate girls. The messages included “Avoid Teenage pregnancy, Encourage Your Child to become President, Ministers, and Police; Send your Girl Child to School.” These messages were accompanied by the name and class of the student who had written the message. The girls were also taken through how to prepare doughnut(Blofot) as they went back.
The International Day of the Girl Child is a crucial occasion that promotes gender equality, advocacy, empowerment, and education for girls. The activities in Zemu D/A Basic school on this day aimed to create an awareness among the children about the importance of girl child education and the adverse consequences of teenage pregnancy. The promotion of girl child education is essential for the development of a nation. It is, therefore, imperative that we educate and empower our girls to become future leaders who can bring positive change to their communities.
Pregnancy School is a critical program aimed at providing educational classes to expectant mothers and fathers. It is an important intervention that promotes healthy pregnancy, childbirth, and infant development. In this report, we will discuss the Pregnancy School program in Ave Dakpa Health Centre with a total population of 8276, women of fetal age 1986 ( 24% of total population), and 5 midwives who manages the maternity unit. The report will also cover Pregnancy School enrolment and its impact on maternal and infant health.
In Ave Dakpa Health Centre, there are 14 communities under its catchment area with the population of 8276. The centre has the following units:
Reproductive and Child Health(RCH) Unit
The Pregnancy School program under the maternity unit has enrolled 33 expectant mothers. This represents 1.6% of the women in their fetal age in the Catchment area. The low enrolment may be attributed to various challenges, including lack of awareness about the program and inadequate resources to undertake the program.
The program provides educational classes on prenatal care, nutrition, childbirth preparation, breastfeeding, parenting skills, and postpartum care. The classes are conducted by 5 midwives who have been trained as facilitators.
On the 4th September, 2023, the pregnancy school featured influential and prominent personalities in the health sector, including the Regional Public Health Nurse, the Queen Mother, the Paramount Chiefs Spokesperson, the District Director of Health Services, and several midwives. These individuals were present to offer support and guidance to expectant mothers, address their concerns and answer any questions they may have regarding pregnancy and childbirth.
Regional Public Health Nurse:
The Regional Public Health Nurse offered professional insight on proper nutrition, personal hygiene, and the importance of the routine medications. She also emphasized the importance of regular prenatal checkups and recommended that all expectant mothers adhere to a well-balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and proteins.
The Queen Mother encouraged the pregnant mothers to take care of themselves and their unborn babies. She reiterated the importance of a stress-free environment and rest, stating they were crucial for the health and wellbeing of the expectant mother and her baby. The Queen Mother also advised that a positive mindset and a relaxed body could help make childbirth easier since pregnancy is not a disease.
Paramount Chiefs Spokesperson:
The Paramount Chiefs Spokesperson spoke on the significance of family support during pregnancy and childbirth. The spokesperson stressed the importance of male involvement, communication between partners and urged family members to offer their assistance to expectant mothers in every way possible.
District Director of Health Services:
The District Director of Health Services discussed the importance of proper medical care throughout the pregnancy process. The Director explained that regular prenatal checkups could help detect complications early and increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy. The Director also noted the importance of giving birth in a hospital with skilled professionals present and urged stakeholders to come on board to champion this noble cause.
Finally, the midwives discussed the process of support system amongst expectant mothers and how to foster unity and share experiences among themselves. They also emphasized the importance of following the advice given by healthcare professionals and taking medication prescribed for them
Impact on Maternal and Infant Health
The Pregnancy School program has had a positive impact on maternal and infant health in the District. Pregnant women who attended the classes have reported increased knowledge of prenatal care, nutrition, and childbirth preparation. They also reported the ability to manage their pregnancy-related symptoms effectively. The program has encouraged women to attend antenatal care visits regularly, leading to early detection and management of any pregnancy-related complications.
Infant health has also improved as a result of the Pregnancy School program. Mothers who attended the classes have reported practicing exclusive breastfeeding, which is critical for infant growth and development. They have also reported improved parenting skills, providing a supportive and nurturing environment for their infants.
In conclusion, Pregnancy School is an important intervention that promotes healthy pregnancy, childbirth, and infant development. Enrolment in the program is low in the District, attributed to lack of awareness, and inadequate resources. The program has had a positive impact on maternal and infant health, improving knowledge, and healthcare-seeking behavior. The District should invest in promoting Pregnancy School awareness and allocate more resources towards improving implementation to enhance its impact on maternal and infant health.
Expectant mothers having their lessons with the Head Midwife
DDHS Recognising Some Graduates of Pregnancy school
LUE – MED AFRICA is a local NGO in health whose aim is to bring health services to the door steps of deprived communities through community medical outreach services, school health services, registrataring individuals such as under five years and the aged onto national health insurance scheme and volunteerism in collaboration with Ghana health services.
BLUE – MED AFRICA in collaboration with Akatsi North District health directorate organised community medical outreach services in four communities with one school health services in the district.
The services rendered during the community medical outreach and school health services include
• General OPD services
• Wound dressing
• Health educational talks
• Physical examination
• Sharing of sanitary pads, pencils, pen, tooth brush and school bags
All the above activities and services were free
The organisation came with six medical students from the USA, one licenced clinical psychologist from Accra, CEO of the organisation and the secretary. The district health directorate supported with five nurses and three technical officers. The organisation brought their medication, equipments, materials and gadgets including tablets and chairs.
The aim of the programme is to create awareness and educate community folks especially the adolescent on the dangers and the ramifications associated with Sexual and Gender based violence and teenage pregnancy. It also focuses on empowering the adolescents to be assertive.
Ave Dakpa Senior High School (AVESCO) and Ave Gborxoxome were chosen for the programme. AVESCOs show took place in the morning whilst Ave Gborxoxome was in the evening.
SAVANNAH SIGNATURES was represented by Mr Elikem, the project coordinator, a video grapher and one white lady. DHD was represented by HPU, HIU, DCU, and the FHU. School entering was done and all protocols observed
Nutrition services education was conducted at Atanve community on the importance of eating a balanced diet that includes fruits, animals, meat, staples vegetables, legumes and seeds. The education was conducted by a team of nutritionists from the Akatsi North Health Directorate who spoke to the community members about the benefits of eating a variety of foods and how to make healthy choices.
The nutritionists explained that fruits, vegetables, and legumes are all good sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They also talked about the importance of eating lean protein, such as fish, poultry, and beans. The nutritionists also stressed the importance of limiting unhealthy fats, sugar, and salt.
The community members were receptive to the education and asked many questions. They were particularly interested in learning about how to prepare healthy meals on a budget. The nutritionists provided them with recipes and tips for making healthy choices at the market .
The nutrition services education was a success. The community members learned about the importance of eating a healthy diet. The nutritionists hope that the education will help to improve the health of the community.