In the era of poor access to health and maternal care, some Assembly Members has introduced measures in their electoral areas to stem the tide.
Such is the story of Hon. Ofori Farrid, Assembly Member for Oyoko who double as a presiding member for Sekyere Kumawu District of the Ashanti Region, who has implemented a “free transport scheme” for pregnant women in his community.
Oyoko, a community with a population of over 15,000 people rely on the only community health post in the area which was built by the residents who resides abroad.
The “free transport scheme” offers pregnant women free transport services to either Effiduasi, Juaben and Asamang, about 15 minutes drive or Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, which is also about one and half hour drive from Oyoko when they are due for delivery.
Prior to this initiative, easy access to health centre was a major challenge for pregnant women in the community; maternal death and bleeding was a common phenomenon.
Hon. Ofori Farrid first met with some drivers in the community and succeeded in convincing them on the need to save the women from needles maternal deaths.
He then introduced a special contact book, containing a compilation of contact numbers of all vehicle drivers in the community. Presently, the only barrier between pregnant women and save delivery in the community is just a phone call as the Drivers are always on standby to answer and attend to the women.
This unique initiative by the Assembly Member has been the answer to the maternal deaths in the area.
Whereas Hon. Farrid has much concerned about health care may have influence him championing this course, it is interesting to view him as a local leader with a broader developmental objective of eradicating maternal mortality, one of the most important global health challenge.
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