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Tema General Hospital, Lena House Clinic organise food demonstrations for pregnant women

The Tema General Hospital, in collaboration with Lena House Clinic, has organised a food demonstration for mothers and pregnant women.

The women were educated on bad dietary habits that inhibit iron absorption, hindering optimal growth and development for both mother and child.

Madam Mary Akrofi, a midwife at Lena House Clinic, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), emphasised the critical role of good nutrition for expectant mothers and their children.

Madam Akrofi said the clinic’s collaboration with Tema General Hospital was aimed at promoting optimal health during pregnancy and early childhood.

She said it was important to address low haemoglobin level issues in pregnant women to prevent the need for blood transfusions during or after childbirth, as well as the risk of postpartum haemorrhage.

“Many pregnant women present with low haemoglobin levels, increasing the risk of anaemia and complications during childbirth,” she said.

She explained that maintaining adequate haemoglobin levels throughout pregnancy was crucial for both maternal and foetal health.

She said proper nutrition played a vital role in supporting the growth and development of the unborn child, adding that a balanced diet, including carbohydrates, proteins, animal-source foods, vegetables, and fruits, was essential for meeting the nutritional needs of expectant mothers and ensuring the healthy development of their babies. 

Madam Cynthia Asante, a public health nurse at Tema General Hospital, reiterated that the initiative was designed to tackle the issue of low haemoglobin levels among pregnant mothers and infants, as anaemia in pregnancy had become persistent for the past three years.

Madam Asante indicated that after the annual performance review for 2023 by the Tema Metropolitan Health Directorate, they identified upper respiratory tract infections as another predominant ailment among patients seeking medical attention. 

She stated that these infections affect the upper respiratory system, including the lungs, nostrils, throat, and eyes.

“We realise that most of our clients and their babies were also reporting these diseases, which indicates that their immune system is at stake,” she said. 

Madam Gifty Baffour Awua said it was important to educate mothers about the nutritional value of indigenous dishes such as aprapransa and mpotopoto, both rich in iron and particularly beneficial for children and expectant mothers.

She urged parents to prioritise incorporating traditional foods into their children’s diets instead of feeding them canned, processed foods.

She said antenatal clinic (ANC) statistics for the hospital showed fluctuations in the number of registrants over the years, revealing that in 2020, there were 8,049 registrants at the ANC, while in 2021, the number decreased to 7,006.

She, however, stated that there was an improvement in the number of mothers, presenting with haemoglobin levels of less than seven grams.

“In 2020, there were 3,481 mothers with such levels, which decreased to 2,086 in 2023,” she said, adding that 1,151 and 1,202 women at 36 weeks of gestation and beyond reported with haemoglobin levels within the normal range (more than 7 grams), respectively, for 2020 and 2023.

She stated that the implementation of educational programmes and food demonstrations on iron has significantly contributed to improving iron levels among pregnant women.

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Source: GNA

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