Stakeholders at a two-day Maternal and Newborn Health Conference in Grand Bassa 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 Grand Bassa people. Conference participants were unanimous in their declaration that there should be No Home Delivery.
The over 150 participants’ recommitment was contained in a 16-count resolution adopted at the end of the conference held at the Unification Pavilion in Buchanan City on June 13 & 14, 2017. 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 and gender; and ensure the enforcement of fines and penalties for violators as agreed upon at the conference.
The Grand Bassa 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 Grand Bassa.
Specifically, the resolution mandates that TTMs or TBAs be compensated by the husband or family of a pregnant woman in the amount of One Thousand Five Hundred Liberian Dollars for accompanying patient in labor to the health facility.
In their 16-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), and LRD $5000 or a court order for persons who are not recognized as TTMs or TBAs but perform deliveries. .
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.
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.
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 16-count resolution will be disseminated in the local languages through radio. The CHT will has been tasked to review progress of the resolution a quarterly basis, to evaluate the status and strengthen their commitment. The conference was jointly organized by the Ministry of Health, Grand Bassa County Health Team and health partners with support from U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP)/ Restoration of Health Services Project implemented by Jhpiego. 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