"Knowledge is power, not only during pregnancy, but in raising a healthy child."
That was the central message of a half-day ante-natal seminar organised by the staff of Edgar Cochrane Polyclinic held today, Thursday, March 17, at the National Union of Public Workers auditorium, Dalkeith, St. Michael.??
In her remarks at the start of the seminar on Empowering Mothers to Reach their Full Potential, Chief Public Health Nurse, Claudette Casey, stressed the importance of maternal, neo-natal, ante-natal and infant care for the safe delivery of a healthy baby.?? Despite the down turn of the economy, she noted that the Ministry of Health remained committed to providing these essential services.
"We take maternal health extremely seriously… The Ministry of Health in its vision for healthier and wealthier Barbadians has identified family care as one of its priority areas within the Barbados Strategic Plan for Health 2002-2012.?? To this end, it has made family planning an integral part of the primary health care services," Ms. Casey pointed out.
The health official disclosed that the number of live births in 2009 was recorded as 3548, and the number of infant deaths in the first year of life was 41 or 1.1%.?? In
addition, through the assistance of the Pan American Health Organisation, the Ministry of Health and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital have implemented a Peri-natal Information System for tracking mother and child health from the beginning of pregnancy?? to?? delivery.??
The participants also heard about the importance of family planning, raising a holistic child, the challenges of parenting and tips on budgeting.?? The seminar was one of the educational programmes offered by the polyclinic staff for expectant mothers.??