Accra, Dec. 7, GNA - Ghana is to benefit
tremendously from the launch of a “Safe Delivery App,” which is a technology
learning application tool designed to empower skilled birth attendants to
provide safer delivery services.
The new application, which can easily be
downloaded free of charge from Google Play and at App Store using smartphones
and other technological gadgets, also works offline once copied, and can
currently be found in the English and French languages.
The App is a partnership between the Maternity
Foundation, a Danish development organisation that aims to reduce maternal and
newborn deaths in low income countries, and the United Nations Population Fund
(UNFPA) and supported by the Royal Danish Embassy.
It was developed by the Maternity Foundation
over a four-year period and is currently being used in Ethiopia, India, Myanmar
and Tanzania, to address maternal challenges.
Ms Tove Degnbol, the Ambassador of Denmark, at
the launch in Accra, expressed her frustration about the high maternal and
child mortality recorded in the country in spite of the investments made over
“I do not want to hide the fact that we have
sometimes been very frustrated when we had to struggle to have our funds channelled
out to the regional and district level to be spent on essential equipment for
the health staff. It has been unbearable to see the rate of maternal mortality
increasing in areas where we and other development partners had targeted our
support,’’ she said.
Ms Degnbol said much more could be achieved to
save lives when the bottlenecks in the financial management were addressed.
“During the more than two decades of our
support, the maternal mortality rate was halved. This is a significant
achievement, but the rate is till terribly high, and every single life of a
woman that could have been spared is a tragedy for the family, for the newborn
and motherless child, and for the society at large,’’ she said.
She commended the UNFPA for partnering with
the Maternity Foundation for the App, which would help reach the remotest
Ms Anna Frellsen, the Chief Executive of the
Maternity Foundation, said Ghana was a high priority country for the “Safe
Delivery App,” given the need for improvement in basic emergency obstetric and
neonatal care, and the expressed interest of the implementing partners.
The “App”, she said, had been designed to
provide teaching and instructions for health professionals and birth
attendants, especially those in hard-to-reach areas, on how to manage normal
and complicated deliveries through simple animated clinical instruction films.
She said it provided skilled birth attendants
with direct and instant access to evidenced-based and up-to-date clinical
guidelines as pertained under the latest WHO Basic Emergency Obstetric and
Neonatal Care and the Ministry of Health Guidelines and Procedures.
Ms Frellsen, demonstrating how the “App”
works, said it had four basic features involving: easy to understand animated
instruction videos, action cards, drug list, and practical procedure
These would yield positive changes against the
current high national maternal and child deaths rates.
“We believe that the Safe Delivery App will
reach its full potential not as an isolated tool, but as an integrated part of
health system strengthening efforts,” she said.
Ms Frellsen said the features and functions of
the “App” was designed for low-literacy and low-income setting, adding that the
Foundation was also in the process of developing an adaptive learning module on
the App to create a learning experience unique to each user based on their
knowledge levels, skills and preferences.
It would also enable them to track their own
progress over time, score points and eventually earn a certificate if they
mastered all knowledge and skill areas.
The Foundation’s Competency Centre, based in
Copenhagen, she said, would support partners at national and programmatic
levels to efficiently implement the “APP” and sustain it at different engagement
Ms Erica Glodson, the Acting Representative of
the UNFPA, said her outfit had since 2008, worked with the health and education
ministries, regulatory bodies and professional associations to promote quality
midwifery care through its “Invest in Midwifery Programme.”
Its key objective is to end preventable
maternal and newborn mortality and ensure universal access to S-xual and
Reproductive Health services in Ghana.
Ms Glodson acknowledged the hard work and
relentless efforts by all key partners to reduce maternal and neonatal
mortality, but said the current statistics of 319 deaths per 100,000 live
births, was still too high and unacceptable.
“We can all agree that too many women die each
year from preventable pregnancy-related causes.
“Lack of access to quality care such as
quality family planning, emergency obstetric and newborn care, especially for
the poorest women in areas with limited access to resources and skilled birth
attendants continue to increase the maternal deaths in the country,” she said.
Ms Glodson said the UNFPA believed that
equipping midwives with adequate information and teaching tools would
strengthen the quality of care for maternal, newborn and s-xual reproductive
The Safe Delivery App should, therefore, be
welcomed as an additional training tool complementing what had already been
received, she said.
Dr Emmanuel Odame, the Director for Policy
Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, MOH, acknowledged the decades of sustained
relationship between Ghana and Denmark, and said the introduction of the App
was timely as the country struggled to attain the Sustainable Development
Goals, especially on maternal and child health.
He admitted that the current maternal
mortality rate was not an exciting news, which raised great concerns as to how
services could be enhanced to lower the records.
He commended the Danish Government for the
support, which was first discussed in Ghana in November 2016, during a meeting
hosted by the International Confederation of Midwives.
Dr Odame urged all key partners and
stakeholders to work hard towards the implementation of the App to ensure its
full benefit to Ghanaians.
Dan Soko is a short story author and web content editor. He has work appearing or forthcoming in over a dozen venues, including GhanaScoop, Nigeria Daily News and CapitalBay. When he’s not frightening strangers with his post and writing, he’s most likely frightening his wife Mimi and their two mischievous cats: Buttons and Snaps. You can visit him at www.ghananation.com/author/webby.