The Central Regional Office of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has tasked commercial Drivers to continue to play positive roles in curbing the increasing rate of maternal and child mortality in the Region.
It said maternal mortality was a big issue in the Region and Drivers who picked up pregnant women to health facilities had a key role to play in ensuring that all was done to stop preventable deaths.
Acting Regional Director of the GHS Dr. Kwabena Sarpong, who made the call said maternal and child mortality was the flagship item on the agenda of the Regional directorate since 2005.
He was addressing a Stakeholders’ meeting in Cape Coast, organized by the GHS and funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
He indicated that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was, therefore, signed between Transport Unions and the Central Region Health Directorate some years past, which saw drivers selflessly contributing their quota in saving lives of pregnant women and their babies.
The move, which helped reduce preventable maternal deaths drastically, made available the mobile phone numbers of taxi drivers for expectant mothers particularly in hard to reach areas to be picked up to hospital promptly when they are due or develop any complications.
He, therefore, stressed the need to strengthen the Directorate’s MoU with drivers to make it more relevant to save the lives of pregnant women.
Dr Sarpong asked midwives to exhibit professionalism in their engagements with drivers to encourage them to sacrifice and send expectant mothers to their facilities.
Speaking on the way forward, the UNFPA Coordinator and a Public Health Educator, Ms Bernice Ampimah, called on the media to intensify education and create broader awareness campaigns to foster understanding among stakeholders.
She said it was necessary to also bring back an award scheme for the drivers to motivate them to serve humanity with zeal and commended drivers for the roles.
For his part, the Twifo Hemang Lower Denkyira Secretary for the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) Jonathan Rhule, said their role in reducing maternal mortality in the Region was wholly humanitarian.
He encouraged his colleagues to voluntarily help because “it could be our wives, daughters and family members “so let’s this good cause be done for ourselves and for the society at large”.