Curbing maternal deaths: GHS distributes Misoprostol to expectant mothers

As part of its safe motherhood strategy, the Ghana Health Service with funding from Venture Strategies Innovations has conducted a nationwide pilot program to distribute Misoprostol to expectant mothers.

The drug is expected to help with the Prevention of Postpartum Hemorrhage (PPH) which is the main cause of maternal mortality.

Maternal deaths in Ghana occur at a rate of 350 per 100,000 live births with approximately 24 percent of these deaths resulting from hemorrhage.

Misoprostol is a safe, affordable and effective alternative utertonic that can be used to prevent PPH where oxytocin is not feasible or available.

According to a report from the GHS on the survey, 42 percent of women in Ghana deliver at home while 95 percent of women attend at least one antenatal care at a health facility during pregnancy.

According to the Director of the Family Health Division, GHS and Advisory Principal Investigator, Dr. Gloria Quansah because the mortality rate remains high in the country, the partners initiated the project to reach pregnant women with the World Health Organization’s approved essential medicine – misoprostol – to prevent maternal death or excessive bleeding after birth.

She explained the projects aim at train Traditional Birth Attendants on how to administer misoprostol to help save women who give birth at home.

She explained because misoprostol comes in the form of heat-stable tablets, it is a simple, safe and effective uterotonic drug that can prevent the leading cause of maternal death mostly in rural Ghana.