The Member of Parliament for Asante Akim Central in the Ashanti region, Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi, has repaired a defective ambulance, which he procured some years ago for the Dwease-Praso sub-municipality in a bid to reduce maternal and newborn deaths.
The facilities have been striving to raise funds through the local assembly to fix the ambulance, which broke down about 20 months ago.
The two communities are served by two health facilities - Dwease Heath Centre and Praso Health Centre – thereby reducing the burden on the Konongo Odumasi Government Hospital.
Realising the importance of the ambulance to the healthcare delivery for the communities, the community members, led by the Evidence for Action/MamaYe project partner in the Asante Akim Central Municipality, Abakk Foundation, decided to take matters into their own hands.
The Executive Director of Abakk Foundation, Phllip Duah started a community action project to repair the ambulance that served as an essential vehicle for transferring emergency maternal cases to referral centres.
Phillip worked with E4A’s Maternal and Newborn Health Council to create a local accountability network made up of the traditional authorities, Municipal Health Directorate and opinion leaders to raise funds to repair the vehicle.
The Municipal Health Director, Martin Safo-Osei, supported the MNH Council members to solicit for support to improve the state of the vehicle.
He said, "it is a delight to see the ambulance back on the road. It is one of the things that bothered me greatly and I want to congratulate the MP for fixing it for all the women, babies and even the men in the area. We will ensure that it used for to improve the duration for receiving emergency care for all".
The MP who had been courted by the group to support the process released funds to get the ambulance fixed to put the vehicle to effective use for the communities.
The local accountability network has since put up a sustainability plan to ensure that the community mobilises funds to keep the ambulance in good shape for the good of the communities.
The Dweasehene (Chief of Dwease) Nana Owusu Banahene also organised the chiefs to contribute seed money to serve as a fund for maintaining the ambulance. The chief said this will go a long way to strengthen community involvement in healthcare delivery.
For Phillip and his team, creating community consciousness for maternal and newborn survival keeps them going.
We believe we can all play a role in this. Every pregnant woman deserves to live and hopefully the ambulance will increase their survival in the community.
MamaYe wishes to thank the Member of Parliament for Asante Akim Central, Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi, for showing leadership and providing the needed support to health facilities in the area.