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 Monday, December 07, 2009

Cell phones have cut dramatically the number of women dying during childbirth in Amensie village in south-central Ghana, according to local health officials.

Health and aid workers say while other improvements in primary healthcare in Amensie - as part of the Millennium Villages project - have contributed to the drop, the availability of cell phones has been pivotal.

"When we did not have mobile telecommunication, women were dying," district nurse Madam Lydia Owusu told IRIN. "It was horrifying to be pregnant here before this project came along...Mothers used to bleed to death while waiting in their homes, hoping a health worker would come to help them."

"We have not recorded a single maternal death in Amensie village since 2006 when this project started," she said.

Before cell phone and internet technology were introduced to Amensie, some 20 women died in childbirth each year, according to Owusu. In 2008 none did.

On average 560 women die during childbirth or from pregnancy complications per 100,000 live births in Ghana, according to the UN.

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Source: allAfrica.com