West Darfur State Targets Developing Health Sector, Upgrading Reproductive Health Concepts
Ceremonies of celebrating the International Population Day were kicked off last Monday in the capital of West Darfur State Gineina.
The celebration was organized by the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with the government of West Darfur state, World Health Organization (WHO), and the United Nations Population Fund under the emblem of "Integrated Maternity Health Services Guarantee Families' Happiness".
The celebration was attended by the Federal Minister of Health Bahr Idriss Abu Girda, Governor of West Darfur State Haider Galukoma, representatives of UN health agencies, partners from the voluntary and health fields in Sudan, and coordinators of maternity health programs.
The federal minister of health commended the efforts of the workers in the health field in looking after mothers, pregnant women, children, and especially infants. He also praised their contribution to fighting harmful customs.
He pointed out the achievements in the maternity mortality rate from 638 in every 100 thousand live births in 2006, to 216 in every 100 thousand live births in 2010, a thing that confirms the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Health in this regard.
He confirmed the ministry's continuous pursuit to promote Family Organization Concepts stressing that it does mean determining the number of children, it means spacing their births, mentioning that 28% of mothers would like to apply this concept but they don't know how and they lack maternity awareness.
He invoked different community sectors to raise awareness regarding the danger of successive births and the risk they pose to mothers especially those under the age of 18, hailing to broaden the scope of health care procurement for pregnant women and mothers with focus on good nutrition to make sure the ministry's plan to reduce mortality and infants' mortality rate will result in successful results.
He affirmed the ministry's ability to instill the aforementioned principles through providing primary health care, focusing on maternity health issues, combating Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), and combating harmful customs such as: early marriage and repeated marriages.
The minister commended the role played by the civil society organizations and partners in developing and providing integrated health packages. He pledged to work with the concerned authorities in West Darfur state to facilitate the work of the organizations operating in the health sector in West Darfur state according to the directives of the federal ministry of health and to support the projects in the state such as Gineina Hospital Tower and all its needs and equipment.
Governor of West Darfur state Haider Gaukoma commended the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Health and the organizations and partners operating in the health sector in promoting maternity health concepts and basic health services, confirming the state government's attention to developing health care in all the state's areas.
He also commended the valuably effective participation of the public in the efforts to promote the health sector, a thing that6 confirms their attention and concern with the issue, affirming at the same time the state government's attention to seeking the implementation of the planned goals and targets despite the slow progress due to shortage the state suffers from in health units personnel and equipment.
He pointed out that the state has only 4 specialist doctors in the field of obstetrics and maternity health. He also said that the state has 54 functioning integrated health care units out of 139, and only 7 that provide maternity and pregnancy emergency services for the population of the state which is currently at 1 million.
He added the state is unable to apply the policies of the federal ministry of health which dictate providing a midwife for every village, indicating that there are now only 294 midwives as opposed to the needed number of 984.
The governor called for increasing the state's free health care portion to meet the needs of Caesarean Section Delivery Operations, treatment of children under the age of 5, procurement of four-wheel drive ambulance vehicles, and building health units and hospitals. He pointed out the state has only 8 hospitals out of which only one is referential hospitals and only 4 capable of performing Caesarean Section Delivery Operations.
The federal minister of health and the state's governor attended the seminar organized by the federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with the state's Ministry of Health and maternity health partners, a seminar organized for the leaders of the state on maternity health concepts under the emblem of "The population are the basis of development, let's reinforce this concept to provide integrated maternity health services". Several papers were presented in the seminar; one of which covered the current maternity health status in West Darfur State and another about maternity health and the strategy of reducing maternity and newly-born infant's mortality rates.
The seminar came out with a number of recommendations aimed at uplifting basic health care services, focusing on the concerns of reproductive health, setting up an strategy for attracting medical and health personnel to work in states by providing alluring conditions for their services in remote areas, caring about exchanging information and periodical reports related to reproductive health, reflecting successes achieved in rolling back mortality rate among newly born children and mothers. The recommendations also focused the necessity for merging midwives within the system of health work in West Darfur and increasing their numbers, in addition to adopting health assistant personnel to work at health facilities to fight malpractices, especially female genital mutilation (FGM) in collaboration with different media organs, marinating blood donation campaign as a strategic for preserving the health pregnant women and supporting blood donation campaign, continuous training programs in the field of reproductive health.
The Federal Minister of Health hailed the seminar and papers presented, and pledged to implement the recommendations coming out of the seminar.
He stressed need to promote the level of services and the concept of reproductive health, involving all sectors to acquaint with the importance of reproductive health, calling on imams (clerks) to contribute to fighting female genital mutilation (FGM) for its negative consequences and on mothers, pregnant women’ health as well as risks at birth, setting up an effective roadmap in coordination with concerned bodies and organizations to ensure their contribution to implementing it. He called for international reports involving experts and specialist, ideal use of available resources and reconsideration of criterion for employment to be set according to actual needs for such jobs. The minister stressed the need for councils for reducing child and mother mortality rate, reactivating councils for coordinating health services so that they play their role in fair distribution of resources and supporting spending on health. He announced his adoption of establishing a center for vocational development in the state.
The Deputy of the state Haider Galokoma announced the government’s consent to merging midwives in health system in the state, working for increasing them, emphasizing expansion in providing health care services, and employing available resources to uplift reproductive health services as well as care about environmental sanitations.
By Haffiya Elyas, 18/07/2012