Prayer camps killing many pregnant women

Health experts are becoming troubled with the increasing number of maternal mortality and maternal health complications as a result of pregnant women seeking aid from prayer camps instead of hospitals at the expense of their health.

The Shai Osudoku District hospital is one of the many hospitals in the greater Accra region surrounded by numerous Prayer centers where many of the women opting to  be delivered at the prayer centers are rushed to when the prayer camps fail them. Medical experts are worried at the rate at which religious leaders are discouraging pregnant women from seeking medical attention.

Dr. Kenneth Brightson, the Medical Director at the Shai Osudoku district hospital in an interview with the media recounted an incident where a pregnant woman who was diagnosed of obstructed labour, and needed to go through caesarian section, refused medical attention due to certain prophesies from her spiritual leader and went to seek spiritual help. In the event the pregnant woman was rushed to the hospital at midnight for emergency medical attention.

Dr. Brightson was concerned at the rate at which Ghanaian women are allowing themselves to be driven by religious fanaticism.

He revealed “there are some women who are sent to the prayer camps for prayers to be offered for them before they are brought here, but they come to us practically dead, and it becomes very difficult for us to resuscitate and bring them back to life.”

However, Dr. Brightson indicated that, they have started some collaborative work to bring together the prayer leaders and engage them because he believes these prayer leaders do so out of ignorance and lack of knowledge about medical care.

Meanwhile, Director General of the Ghana Health Service; Dr. Anthony Nsiah Asare has revealed that 9% of women who died from maternal health complications in the Northern Zone visited prayer camps. In a similar vein, 20% died in the middle zone while 26% died of maternal health related complications in the southern zone as a result of visiting these prayer centers.

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