In rural areas, there is often a lack of adequate health facilities. The fact that women in labor travel long distances – sometimes on foot – to get the needed maternal health attention can lead to their deaths. This has necessitated the establishment of Maternal Homes or Maternal Waiting homes. These homes also cater for minor ailments in the community that might not be related to women or childbirth.
Access to skilled medical professionals, especially midwives is the safest way to be delivered of a baby. Therefore in the absence of big government hospitals or private clinics in some rural areas, the Maternal Homes are the safest place to give birth because they are usually staffed with at least one midwife. Although these midwives may be ill-equipped to render the quality of service as their counterparts in big hospitals, their work cannot be undermined. Pregnant women are often sent to these Maternal Homes 2-3 weeks before they are ready to give birth because of the distance they would have had to travel before getting to the hospital. Some Maternal Homes are located close the hospitals, serving as a transitional station for such women. They receive the necessary medical attention there and can be transferred to the hospital if need be. Sometimes, pregnant women who are considered to be in the category of women who are likely to experience complications during childbirth are sent to Maternity Homes. This includes women who are giving birth for the first time, those who have had many previous births, older women, and those who have problems such as high blood pressure during pregnancy.
The visualization above reveals the number of health facilities we have in each region in Ghana side-by-side the Maternity Homes found there. It is such a wonderful initiative to have these homes complement the work that the big hospitals/private clinics do.