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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Spotlight on Ghana: President Obama Visits EngenderHealth Training Site

Richard Killian, QHP's Chief of Party, sits with colleagues at a booth during President and Mrs. Obama’s visit to La General Hospital
Richard Killian, Chief of Party for Quality Health Partners (managed by EngenderHealth) sits with colleagues at an information booth during President and Mrs. Obama’s visit to La General Hospital.

President Obama greets Richard Killian and other EngenderHealth staff at their information booth.
President Obama greets Richard Killian and other EngenderHealth staff at the information booth.

During his visit to Ghana, President Obama traveled to La General Hospital in Accra, where EngenderHealth trains health providers from across the country to provide high-quality family planning services. While at the hospital, the President and the First Lady stopped by an information booth, met a few of our staff who spoke about the importance of family planning, and learned more about our programs across the country.

EngenderHealth has worked in Ghana for more than 20 years to expand contraceptive use, improve health outcomes, and make lasting positive changes in the Ghanaian public health system. Currently, EngenderHealth collaborates with the local government to reduce maternal deaths, by ensuring that clients can prevent unwanted pregnancies and can choose from a wide range of family planning services, including long-acting and permanent methods. Other initiatives include expanding prevention and treatment services for HIV and reducing related stigma. Indeed, we work with all levels of the health system—from doctors to midwives to policymakers—to improve the quality of health care.

During his visit, President Obama spoke passionately about the need to address poor maternal health. “Part of the reason this is so important is throughout Africa the rates of both infant mortality, but also maternal mortality, [are] still far too high—I mean by a factor of a multiple of 10s compared to many other parts of the world,” the President said. The kinds of programs that provide strong prenatal and maternal care, he said, “are very important.” President Obama’s comments, along with proposed funding increases in next year’s budget, signal his commitment to global maternal and child health, as well as to reproductive health and family planning.

Meeting several mothers and their babies at the clinic, President Obama noted, “This is the highlight of the trip.”

Read more information about EngenderHealth’s activities in Ghana.

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