Stakeholders at the end of a two-day Maternal and Newborn Health Conference in Lofa County have pledged to collectively intensify their efforts to address the major causes of maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality as well as improve the health and wellbeing of the Lofa people. Conference participants were agreed in their declaration that No Home Delivery in Lofa County.
The over 150 participants’ recommitment was contained in a 22-count resolution adopted at the end of the conference held at the Lofa Community College Auditorium in Voinjama City on January 19 & 20, 2018. In their resolution the participants reminded all stakeholders, especially the County Administration, County Health Team (CHT) and Community leaders to ensure full implementation of the resolutions.
Reaffirming their dedication, the County administration including County Superintendent, Statutory Districts Superintendents, District Commissioners, and Paramount Chiefs), promised to demonstrate their support in leadership and resource mobilization; ensure coordination and collaboration among different sectors such as education, gender and other line ministries; and ensure the enforcement of fines and penalties for violators as agreed upon at the conference.
The Lofa CHT, health facilities, workers and partners recommitted themselves to the provision of quality health care services to mothers, newborn children and the society at all facilities. The County Health team and partners promised to introduce a motivational scheme for TTMs in kind or cash for best practices of referring the highest number of pregnant women to the health facility every quarter.
At the community level, conference participants recognized the critical roles of religious and traditional leaders as well as TTMs and challenged them to utilize their networks by serving as advocates to encourage pregnant women to attend ANC, deliver at health facility, and return for postnatal care, to enhance the uptake of maternal and newborn health services in Lofa.
Specifically, the resolution mandates that TTMs or TBAs be compensated by the husband or family of a pregnant woman in the amount of LRD $1,500.00 for caring and accompanying patient at Antenatal and in labor to the health facility.
In their 22-count resolution, the conference participants agreed to levy specific fines and penalties for all violators engaging in home delivery. These include: LRD $2, 500 for TTMs or TBAs who fail to take pregnant women to the facility for delivery; LRD $2, 500 for a pregnant woman who refuses to go to the facility for delivery.
The resolution also prescribed tough punishment of a ban from the practice and a court sentence for the death of a pregnant woman at the hands of a TTM or TBA who carries out delivery in the community after more than one offense.
The resolution encourages all commissioners and local authorities to ensure that community members participate in transporting pregnant women to facilities for delivery and in cases of emergency, use hammocks where an ambulance was not available. A fine of LRD $2,000 Will be imposed on any male community member who refuses, while any family member that will refuse to side brush road and assist with minor repair of bridges in their areas will be fined LRD $3,000.00.
The conference participants cautioned that refusal of any district superintendent, commissioners or local authority to adhere to these resolutions, such complain should be brought to the County Superintendent.
The 22-count resolution will be disseminated in the six local languages in the County (Lorma, Kpelleh, Mandingo, Kissi, Gbandi, and Mende) through radio. The CHT has been tasked to review progress of the resolution on a yearly basis, to evaluate the status and strengthen their commitment.
The conference was jointly organized by the Ministry of Health, Lofa County Health Team and health partners with support from IRC, PACs, JSI and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP) Restoration of Health Services project implemented by Jhpiego & John snow Inc.
The two-day Maternal and Newborn Health Conference was held under the theme: No to Maternal and Newborn Deaths with slogan, Mama and Baby Must Live.
During the Lofa Maternal and Newborn Conference, MCSP RHS in collaboration with the Grand Bassa County Health Team recognized “best performing” clinics out of the 17 MCSP supported clinics in County. The recognition was in two categories; best performing clinic using composite Indicators (MNCH and IPC), and excellence in Infection.
The purpose of the recognition include the following; to appreciate the efforts of staff (team) who have worked exceptionally well at MCSP supported facilities in each county; to motivate other healthy facility staff and increase positive competition among health facilities, to further improve and promote the quality of health care services at the health facilities, and kick start MCSP transitioning of activities to the counties.
At a brief ceremony, six facilities were recognized for the composite indicator category and three for excellence in IPC category. Mbalotahun Clinic was recognized in both categories of recognition. In the composite indicators, Kpademai Clinic obtained the highest (84%), followed by Fassavolu (80%), Mbalotahun (79), Mendicorma (78) while Bondi, and Torbogizzizu Clinics each scored 75%. The three facilities recognized as excellence in IPC were Voinjama Free Pentecostal Clinic (95%), while both Faith Clinic and Mbalotahun Clinic had a tie score 89%.