Health workers at the Princess Christian Maternity Hospital (PCMH) in Fourah Bay Road have received personal protective equipment (PPE) and other materials from the United Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), delivered to the hospital through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, to help keep them safe while delivering babies and working with pregnant women.
Dr Joan Shepherd, the Principal at the National School of Midwifery, said the hospital had requested this new equipment for the staff at the labour delivery department, to protect them during the present Ebola crisis.
In the labour delivery department, she said, health workers have to deal with pregnant women who often have little knowledge of their own health status, and midwives have to contend with blood and other body fluids during delivery.
Dr Shepherd expressed gratitude to the UNFPA and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation for the support, saying it will go a long way in preventing infections, especially among her frontline staff.
One of those receiving the PPEs and other infection control materials was Elizabeth Bangali, the midwifery sister-in-charge at the labour ward. She said hospital staff were delighted for the support, adding that she and her colleagues were exposed to high risk while carrying out their duties. With the additional PPEs, she said, they now have the confidence that they can do their work without fear.
She assured the public that personnel of the labour ward will redouble their efforts to save lives, pledging that at all times they will uphold their slogan “No woman should die while giving birth”.
Salamatu Kamara, a nurse at the outpatient department of the hospital, is another beneficiary, and she expressed appreciation to both the Ministry and the UNFPA for the donation. The new equipment, she said, will enable medical staff to attend to more pregnant women and lactating mothers, along with assisting children aged 0-59 months. These are the categories meant to benefit under the ongoing free health care programme, she said.
Fudia Koroma, a janitor in the labour delivery ward, explained to Awoko that she and her colleagues had concerns about becoming infected while cleaning in and around the department, but that the new PPEs will help. With the new support materials, she said, both patients and the public will be pleased as the wards and toilets will be properly cleaned and sanitized to reduce the risk of infection.
By Ade Campbell
Thursday September 25, 2014