The Afua Sarpong Foundation has reiterated the need for urgent attention in Ghana’s health system for preeclampsia conditions and its life-threatening effects on women during the launch of the 2023 Preeclampsia week commemoration at the Ngleshi Amanfrom Polyclinic in the Ga South Municipality.
In collaboration with the Ghana Health Service, the event was held under the theme “Preeclampsia; Be Aware! Get Screened!”
Addressing a diverse audience that included the Representative of the Regional Director of Ghana Health Service, opinion leaders, pregnant women, media partners, invited guests, and distinguished individuals, the Executive Director of the foundation, Nana Afua Sarpong shared her personal journey as a survivor of preeclampsia and emphasized the urgent need to prevent and combat this silent yet deadly condition.
Preeclampsia, a condition that tragically claims the lives of mothers and their unborn babies, had a profound impact on Nana Afua Sarpong’s life, leading to the loss of her eight-month-old unborn child.
Through her speech, she raised awareness and explained the cycle of ignorance surrounding preeclampsia, ensuring that every expectant mother has the knowledge and resources to protect themselves and their unborn children.
To commemorate her precious angel and honor all lives affected by preeclampsia, the Afua Sarpong Foundation, in collaboration with generous partners, announced a significant initiative of donating blood pressure machines to health facilities.
Since 2021, the foundation has donated blood pressure machines to the Ga West Municipal Health Directorate, the Saltpond Government Hospital and the Ga South Health Directorate, serving as lifelines for early detection of preeclampsia. These machines empower women to monitor their blood pressure, facilitating timely interventions and potentially saving lives.
However, Nana Afua Sarpong emphasized that the mission does not end with the distribution of these machines.
“To all the pregnant women out there, I implore you to listen to your bodies, to trust your instincts, and to seek help when something doesn’t feel right. Your life and the life of your unborn child are precious, and your voice matters. Remember, you are not alone. The Afua Sarpong Foundation is here to support you, advocate for you, and walk alongside you every step of the way.
“Let us remember that every life counts. Every mother has the right to a healthy pregnancy, every child has the right to a chance at life. Today, we stand as beacons of hope, united in our determination to make a lasting impact. Together, let us ensure that no mother is left uninformed, unsupported, or alone in her battle against preeclampsia”, she concluded.
She urged continued awareness-raising efforts, advocacy for accessible and quality healthcare, and support for research initiatives to unravel the mysteries surrounding preeclampsia. She called for the collective voices and stories of survivors and affected families to ignite change in the hearts and minds of policymakers, healthcare professionals, and communities.
Nana Afua Sarpong also expressed her deepest gratitude to the generous partners who supported the foundation in donating the blood pressure machines, recognizing their potential to save lives, bring comfort to expectant mothers, and offer hope to families across Ghana.
In support of the cause, Dr. Afua Animwaa Asante Twumasi – Municipal Director of the Ghana Health Service in Ga South also addressed the audience, highlighting the importance of collaborative efforts in tackling preeclampsia and improving maternal health across the country.
Dr. Asante Twumasi acknowledged the significant strides made by the Afua Sarpong Foundation in raising awareness and providing resources for early detection of preeclampsia. She emphasized the need for pregnancy schools as a vital component of comprehensive maternal health care.
She explained that pregnancy schools are educational programs designed to equip expectant mothers with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate pregnancy, recognize warning signs, and adopt healthy behaviors for the well-being of both themselves and their unborn children.
Highlighting the benefits of pregnancy schools, Dr. Twumasi mentioned that these educational programs provide a platform for expectant mothers to learn about prenatal care, nutrition, exercise, and the early signs of complications such as preeclampsia. By empowering women with accurate information and resources, pregnancy schools can significantly contribute to reducing maternal and infant mortality rates.
On her part, Dr. Salamatu Attah-Nantogma, Deputy Director of Clinical Care – Ghana Health Service noted that the Ghana Health Service recognizes preeclampsia as a critical health issue and is committed to working hand-in-hand with NGOs, such as the Afua Sarpong Foundation, to address the challenges it poses.
She further stressed that the Ghana Health Service has taken measurable steps to combat preeclampsia, including the implementation of comprehensive maternal health programs, training of healthcare professionals to recognize early warning signs, and the promotion of regular antenatal check-ups for pregnant women.
Dr. Attah-Nantogma also expressed her appreciation for the donation of blood pressure machines to the Ga South Health District by the Afua Sarpong Foundation, noting that these machines will significantly enhance the healthcare facilities’ ability to detect and monitor preeclampsia cases promptly.
She urged healthcare professionals, policymakers, and communities to join hands with NGOs like the Afua Sarpong Foundation and the Ghana Health Service to create a robust support system for expectant mothers, ensuring that no woman goes through the pain and loss caused by preeclampsia.
The collaborative efforts between the Afua Sarpong Foundation and the Ghana Health Service showcased a united front in the fight against preeclampsia. Together, they pledged to rewrite the narrative of preeclampsia and ensure that every woman’s journey to motherhood is filled with joy, health, and the promise of a brighter future.
The Afua Sarpong Foundation’s commitment to advocating for maternal health, combined with the support and collaboration of the Ghana Health Service, sets the stage for a transformative impact in addressing preeclampsia and improving the overall well-being of expectant mothers across Ghana.
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