News Release

Mother and Neonatal Care in Tamale

Mothers and their new babies in the northern regions of Ghana, have a better chance of survival thanks to a collaboration between LDS Charities, UNICEF and the Ghana Ministry of Health. LDS Charities is the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


A team of four medical doctors from the U.S. provided a five-day training for doctors and midwives from the three northern regions. The training was conducted at Tamale Teaching Hospital.

Using the LDS Charities initiatives, Helping Mothers Survive and Helping Babies Breathe, the training focused on at-risk mothers after birth and babies who do not breathe immediately following birth.  Skills for the essential care of preterm and low weight babies were also taught.

Dr. Braimah Abubakar, Deputy Regional Director of Health of the Northern Region, commended the efforts of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “We are aware of your church; it is the fastest growing church in the region. We thank you for your assistance and for teaching us how to improve treatment for our patients.”

The northern region of Ghana recorded the highest number of neonatal deaths in the country. Complications following a birth was the second highest cause of maternal mortality in the region. Dr. Abubakar praised the efforts of LDS Charities in organizing trainings geared towards preserving and saving lives. 

Participants were given kits containing simulators and equipment to practice real scenarios of difficult births. The objective for this seminar is to train local professionals how to teach other medical providers critically needed skills.


The doctors working with LDS Charities are from the United States. They are Dr. Shaun Vernon Odell, pediatric specialist trained in Chicago, Illinois and Dr. John Sutherland Oglesby, obstetrics and gynecology specialist from LDS Hospital in Utah. Elizabeth Anderson Howell and JoAnn Coursey Abegglen, nurse practitioners, made up the rest of the team.

Dr. Shawn Vernon Odell remarked how important it is for health professionals to maintain the health of the mother after a birth in order to create a special maternal-child bond.

Other health professionals present at the training were Dr. Abdul Mumin, in charge of the training and a pediatrician at the Tamale Teaching Hospital; Dr. Femke, a lecturer at the University for Development Studies, and Dr. Abass Adams, a neurosurgeon at the Tamale Teaching Hospital. Dr. “Ike” Ferguson, a welfare specialist from Utah, was the facilitator of the event.  

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