Maternal mortality is one of prevalent causes of death amongst pregnant women. According to the World Health Organisation, for every woman who dies of pregnancy-related causes, 20 or 30 others experience acute or chronic morbidity, often with permanent sequelae that undermine their normal functioning.
In Ghana, maternal mortality ratio is still as high as 319 per 100,000 live births, with neonatal mortality rate at 29 per 1,000 live births.
Over the past few years, many organisations have been formed to fight against maternal mortality but one of them making significant strides is TV/Radio Presenter and Philanthropist Vanessa Gyan.
She is dedicated as an individual to raise awareness on maternal health. Five years into her big leap of faith in moving to Ghana, Vanessa is using her platform as a public figure for a greater cause. In an extension of The Sincerely, Vee Show, last December, Vanessa Gyan launched The Post Pregnancy Boujie Express at Ridge Hospital.
The project — which focuses on maternal health and building the bond between mothers through a panel of women telling their individual journeys — received such positive feedback from attendees of the event and staff at Ridge Hospital.
Due to the high demand, Vanessa Gyan is preparing for the second edition of The Post Pregnancy Boujie Express happening on May 11th. Continuing her partnership with Ridge Hospital, this time around the kind-hearted personality is also looking to raise funds for the maternity ward at Ridge Hospital.
“It’s extremely heartbreaking knowing there are women alongside their newborns who are unable to be discharged from the hospital due to lack of funds. My goal is to raise funds to assist in this type of cases,” said Vanessa.
Touching on the reason she begun this project, she said: “Every journey in your life opens your eyes to something. The Post Pregnancy Boujie Express came up after I gave birth. The aftercare I received in the US was amazing. More like a 5-star hotel treatment. I had heard that the issue of maternal health was on the high.
I couldn’t relate because I was not a mom. But after giving birth I could relate more and decided to give back in a bigger spectrum and also let women feel good about themselves during and after pregnancy. I started executing the plan from when I was in the States.”
Even though there are many hospitals that need maternal health awareness, Vanessa chose the Ridge Hospital out of recommendations from a Facebook platform, ‘Mummy & Me’ group of which she is a member. She noted that even though she puts together the whole planning and execution by herself, she has had immense support from the group.
According to her, she reached out in the group, made up of doctors, nurses, entrepreneurs and the immediate responses pointed to the Ridge Hospital. She also hopes to extend this project to other hospitals in the country and even beyond.
“I will one day like to reach out to more hospitals because even though it looks like everything is well at the Ridge Hospital, there many cases of women who are unable to be discharged because they can’t afford their discharge fees. So that’s my main focus.
It’s about the women being able to go home after giving birth. I believe no woman should basically be held captive in any sense. In 2019, I will expand. I will still include Ridge Hospital as much as I can. It just breaks my heart to see women on the floor, together with their babies after childbirth,” she said.
This year’s event promises to be phenomenal. Six mums are expected to be present to share their experience and journey in child nurturing. Vanessa hopes to get more people on board in order to support the cause.
“There are three ways in which you can support this greater cause. First is through mobile money number – 050 535 9180 and second is by purchasing Sincerely, Vee merchandise. An SV mug which can be purchased for 60GHC. Lastly, you can visit the ‘Go fund me’ platform on the internet with the Account name: Maternity Ward at Ridge Hospital. The target of the ‘Go fund me’ is USD 3,000. Remember no amount is too small especially when you know it will touch the life of another human being,” said Vanessa.
Vanessa Gyan expressed gratitude to CocoRide GH, Vaettal Water, Kare Products, Be-nice Catering Services, Lydia Contraceptives, Goldiluck LTD and Geobek Graphics and IT Solutions for their immense support and sponsorship.