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Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) Are a Significant Cause of Death Among Babies and Pregnant Women - PATH

Dr. Patience Cofie, Country Manager for PATH, has highlighted that urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a significant cause of death among babies and pregnant women. She explained that untreated UTIs during pregnancy can lead to severe complications such as pyelonephritis, preterm birth, low birth weight, and maternal sepsis, all of which have substantial impacts on maternal and fetal health.

A UTI is an infection in any part of the urinary system, including the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra, with most infections occurring in the lower urinary tract—the bladder and urethra.

In an interview with Peace News at the Integrated ANC project dissemination meeting in Accra, Dr. Cofie emphasized the need for early treatment of infections during pregnancy to prevent harm to both the mother and the unborn child. She warned that these infections could lead to deformities affecting both mother and child in the future, urging parents to seek timely medical treatment.

Dr. Patience Cofie further stressed that awareness and education are critical in preventing UTIs and their complications. She advocated for comprehensive prenatal care programs that include regular screening and treatment for UTIs. She highlighted the role of healthcare providers in educating pregnant women about the symptoms of UTIs and the importance of seeking prompt medical attention.

Marion Okoh Owusu, Director of the Family Health Division at the Ghana Health Service, reinforced the importance of regular hospital visits for pregnant women. She called on community leaders and stakeholders to educate pregnant women about the necessity of regular check-ups to prevent miscarriages and other complications.

She echoed these sentiments, emphasizing that community involvement is essential in improving maternal and child health outcomes. She called on community leaders, health workers, and stakeholders to actively engage in educating women about the benefits of antenatal care and the risks associated with untreated infections during pregnancy. Regular hospital visits, she noted, are crucial for early detection and treatment of potential health issues, thereby reducing the risk of severe complications for both mother and child.

Both Dr. Cofie and Mrs. Okoh Owusu urged the government and healthcare organizations to prioritize maternal health and invest in resources that ensure accessible and quality healthcare for all pregnant women. This includes training healthcare workers, providing necessary medical supplies, and implementing policies that support maternal and child health initiatives.

The dissemination meeting concluded with a call to action for all relevant parties to work together in addressing the challenges faced by pregnant women, ensuring their health and safety, and ultimately improving the overall health outcomes for mothers and their babies in Ghana.