Health staff, Regional and District Health Promotion Officers and Gender Officers from Northern, Upper West and Volta regions have undergone a trainer of trainers workshop on Father-to-Father group facilitation to help reduce maternal and infant mortality.
The five-day training empowered the participants drawn from 39 health facilities in nine districts in the three regions, to provide a step-down training to other health staff in their districts, who would in turn also establish Father-to-Father groups in their communities.
The Father-to-Father group is a gender strategy of the Technology for Maternal and Child Health (T4MCH) Project, which is being implemented by Savana Signatures, a non-governmental organization, with funding from Global Affairs Canada to contribute to the reduction of maternal and infant mortality in the three regions.
The Father-to-Father group facilitation methodology is based on gender analysis tools and exercises to assist men to understand their ascribed gender roles and the implications to themselves, their women partners and the community at large.
The approach empowers and encourages men to discover for themselves the value of promoting gender equality in their families and communities.
Currently, under the T4MCH, 53 Father-to-Father groups have been formed and have so far reached 606 men through monthly facilitation of sessions.
In many communities in the regions, the decision about a woman’s health care; to seek care at a health facility whiles pregnant has always been the choice of the husband hence the Father-to-Father groups for the men to support their wives in that regard.
In 2016, a total of 130 maternal deaths were recorded in the Northern Region whiles 426 children from zero to 11 months old also died in the region the same.
Alhaji Abdul Rashid Imoro, Programme Manager in-charge of Maternal and Child Health at Savana Signatures, who spoke during the closing of the workshop in Tamale over the weekend, urged participants to engage men to break the stereotypes such that men would support their wives during pregnancy and child delivery.
Alhaji Imoro urged men to do away with the misconception that some things were the preserve of women saying supporting their wives would ensure a healthy home.
Mr Dalo Rashid Kareem, Physician Assistant at Poyentanga Health Centre in the Wa West District, who was a participant, said he would establish four additional Father-to-Father groups in the area to ensure that more men were sensitized on the need to support their wives to reduce maternal and infant mortality.