Maternal health, parts one and two

| July 23, 2018

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Like this week’s Farmer stories, our Script of the week focuses on women’s experiences.

In most rural communities in Ghana, women are seen as part of their husband’s property, farmhands and domestic servants rather than partners on an equal footing who participate actively in all decisions affecting the family. The woman’s subordinate position is further heightened by the bride’s wealth her husband pays to her parents.

Women are not involved in decision-making, even in important matters such as the need to save money to attend antenatal and postnatal clinics. When complications occur, either before, during, or after delivery, the woman is often left to her fate. This is one of the reasons why child and maternal mortality rates are so needlessly high in this part of the world.

Women face many pregnancy-related problems and, in most cases, they are unpredictable. Some of them lead to death or permanent injury. Fortunately, modern medicine has the capacity to handle most problems in health facilities.

Social, political, or economic factors should not be allowed to deny a woman her fundamental right to a healthy pregnancy and childbirth. Reducing maternal deaths is therefore a matter of rights and an urgent priority. That is why every family needs to be encouraged to make savings in preparation for emergencies.

As always, try to adapt these scripts to your local situation. What are the community values concerning childbirth and delivery in your area? Do men and women discuss these matters and make plans together? Are there different opinions on these issues in your community? What do local health practitioners advise? Can health clinics and traditional birth attendants work together?

You might want to have a call-in program on these issues, or even conduct a roundtable discussion that invites listeners with different opinions.

In part one of this drama, the setting and some of the main characters are introduced. In the second part of the drama, the action develops and comes to a conclusion. It is recommended that these two scripts be played back-to-back, or on two successive days.

You might want to market the drama with a short advertisement or “teaser,” which offers a brief description of the drama, or a short audio clip, in order to entice listeners to tune in.