From Sunlen Miller and Karen Travers
“Nobody’s going to have a baby right now, right?” the President asked as he walked in with the First lady to an open-air women’s clinic at La General Hospital in Ghana today.
About 20 pregnant women, standing when the First Couple entered laughed.
“Maybe all the mothers can sit down,” the President joked.
The Obamas visited the hospital, which focuses on prenatal care, after birth care, malaria prevention, improved labor and delivery services, nutritional counseling, family planning and HIV testing for pregnant women, before the President’s address to parliament this morning.
“Part of the reason this is so important is throughout Africa the rates of both infant mortality but also maternal mortality is still far too high,” President Obama told the group in the hospital which is funded by USAID, “These kinds of programs that provide sound prenatal care and maternal care are extraordinarily important, and this is a model of the kind of clinics where people are able to get these important services.”
This was also a similar theme the President emphasized shortly after in his speech to Parliament– again using the hospital as an example of one using innovative ideas to fill gaps that exist in developing country’s health care, like maternal health.
The first Couple toured the clinic where they met mothers with babies. In the classic photo opt the President picked up many of the babies.
“This is the highlight of the trip,” the President said, “Look at these cuties!”
At one point some of the babies began to cry, but the President blamed it on his press pool.
“I think it’s the reporters who are scary,” the President joked. “They scare me all the time.”
- Sunlen Miller and Karen Travers