The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and authorities of Bomi County have agreed to step up efforts aimed at improving the maternal and newborn healthcare delivery in the county. The commitment followed a one-day visit to the county by UNFPA Representative, Dr. Oluremi Sogunro.
During a meeting with county authorities, including Development Superintendent, Ernest Davis, and County Health Officer (CHO), Dr. Odell Kumeh, Dr. Sogunro assured them of UNFPA’s support for the county in its effort to stop women from dying during childbirth.
“I must commend authorities of Bomi County for the political will and the demonstrated commitment to partnership in ensuring that pregnant women have safe deliveries at health facilities,” Dr. Sogunro said, adding that the county’s decision to discourage home delivery by imposing a fine is a step in the right direction.
Also, during a meeting with Trained Traditional Midwives (TTMs) from communities in and around the Sime Darby Plantation, Dr. Sogunro called on TTMs to always refer pregnant women to health facilities for delivery. “You are important in our efforts to stop women from dying during childbirth,” he told the TTMs.
The meeting followed the death of a pregnant woman during childbirth in the county. The death of the woman came as a result of the delay by a TTM in getting her to a health facility for safe delivery.
In response, Bomi County Development Superintendent Davis lauded UNFPA for its support to the county.
Mr. Davis said the reduction in maternal deaths is high on the county’s development agenda. “We have rallied our traditional and community leaders to ensure that no pregnant woman is left to deliver outside of a health facility. For this reason, a fine of L$1,500 has been set as a punishment for would-be violators,” Mr. Davis declared.
The visit afforded Dr. Sogunro and his team the opportunity to interact with community members and assess some of the maternal and newborn health care facilities, including Sass Town Clinic, Jenneh #3 Clinic and Sime Darby Plantation Clinic. These three health facilities were refurbished with support from UNFPA. The fund is also supporting the expansion of the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health unit at Jenneh #3 Clinic, with a further commitment to install a solar power lighting system at the facility.