News Release

Improved Survival for Ghana Mothers and Newborns

Maternal/Newborn Care Preserves Families

LDS Charities, the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, partnered with Ghana Health Service to teach essential, yet simple skills to reduce maternal mortality and improve infant survival in the Greater Accra region.


Lynnae Napoli, respiratory specialist from University of Utah Hospital said “We provide training to reduce mortality and morbidity of babies and moms. Our goal in coming here is to reduce mother deaths and infant deaths. If a mother or a baby die there is a loss. We simply want to preserve families.”

Midwives, obstetricians and gynecologists selected from fifteen districts in the Greater Accra Region participated in the five-day training course from October 30 to November 3. The course was held at the Christiansborg meeting house on Independence Avenue in Accra.

LDS Charities Technical Specialist, Ike Ferguson said “Our purpose is to train the trainers. Ghana Health Service selects medical specialists to be trained. Professionals from the LDS Charities provide teaching aids and skills training so those specialist can give the same training to other medical providers in Ghana.” 

Mr. Ferguson said, “The maternal course empowers local specialists to handle post-partum hemorrhage and focuses on issues a mother may encounter immediately after giving birth. The newborn course teaches midwives on how to effectively care for babies who weigh less than 2.5 kg.”

Dr.  Carolyn Rich Denson, a neonatologist from Ogden Utah traveled with the team from LDS Charities. “I have always loved babies and their mothers,” she said. “I am pleased to come with LDS Charities and teach those who then train others. Our goal is to reduce the high mortality rate for babies and mothers in this country.”

Certificates of completion were awarded to the participants.

Elizabeth Hutchison, a midwife from Prampram Polyclinic said “This training has equipped me with so much knowledge. … I learned there are many things I can do as a midwife to give mothers and their babies’ better chances at survival.”

Dr. David Ernest Mireku Aduamah, an obstetrician/gynecologist from Ridge Hospital said “I have learned how to do things in a simple way. I am prepared to now teach these simple procedures that will to save our mothers and their babies.”

“As a region we appreciate the support that LDS Charities has given us,” said Madam Sarah Ammissah Bamful, Deputy Director for Clinical Care for Ghana Health Service, Greater Accra Region. “We pray that God gives them the strength to continue their work. We believe in the long term, our health outcomes with regards to maternal mortality, still birth rates and early neonatal rates will be reduced.”

LDS Charities also donated Neo-Natalie simulators for at-risk newborns, Mama Natalie birthing simulators and resuscitation kits for participants of the course to better enable them to train others.

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