“It’s a joy to bring a child into the world” says Cecilia Addah, a midwife from Ghana. She’s right. Oxfam’s latest photo exhibition, Birth Rights, tells the birth story of 2 women in Ghana, Selina and Adumporka. The joy and beauty new life brings is self evident in their photos – which you can see for yourself, any time of day, at our pop-up exhibition in the windows of 15 Cheap St until April 20th!
Selina and Adumporka are lucky. They knew about and were able to access free healthcare. It is a sad fact that every week, around 75 women in Ghana die because of complications during pregnancy and childbirth. The vast majority of these deaths are completely preventable. Women die because there aren’t enough qualified health workers; health facilities are often far from women’s homes; pregnant women don’t know they can get free care. Factors which can be overcome by investment in the healthcare system.
But surely that’s Ghana’s problem? It’s true – the Ghanaian government needs to invest more in it’s healthcare services. But it’s not quite as simple as that. How can countries invest if they don’t have the resources & support to do so? Ghana has a GNI per capita of $1230. In the UK it is £38370. Over 30 times as much. The position they are starting from, trying to improve from, with their healthcare system, highlights the disparity that exists and the challenges they face.
The UK government needs to fulfil its commitment to spend 0.7% of national
income on overseas aid. This offers a real chance for more women to receive life-saving health care during pregnancy. The best kind of aid is long-term and predictable, and contributes directly to government budgets so that developing countries like Ghana can use it to pay for health workers, medicines and hospitals. At this critical moment, politicians of all parties need to know how important keeping the aid promise is. Click here to add your voice in letting the politicians know – Aid Matters!
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be blogging about Selina and Adumporka – follow OxfamBath to hear more of their story – and remember to visit the exhibition on your way through central Bath!