Maternal mortality rate increasing in Ghana – WHO

The Maternal Mortality Estimation Inter-Agency Group of the World Health Organisation estimated that Ghana’s maternal mortality rate has gone up from 350 per 100,000 live births to 380.

The report also indicated that in 2013, an estimated 3,100 women died from pregnancy related causes and that figures from the District Health Management Information System revealed that 1,012 pregnant women died in 2013 from pregnancy related issues across the country.

Mrs Vicky T. Okine, Executive Director of Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights made the report known at the end-of-year media briefing in Accra organised by Mamaye Advocacy Coalition to review its activities in 2014.

The Coalition is a platform of civil society groups engaged in advocacy activities to catalyse improvements in the quality, efficiency, and range of resources available for the care of Mothers and their newborn babies.

It provides framework and common ground for various civil society organisations to support the local implementation of commitments such as the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health and recommendations of the Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health.

The Coalition is made up of 50 organisations working in HIV and AIDS, reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health advocacy and service delivery.

Mrs Okine said over the past year, the Coalition had implemented a scorecards programme in eight project districts of the campaign and 36 health facilities were assessed by a team of data collectors at selected health facilities in eight districts of the Ashanti and Volta regions.

She added that the Coalition had provided logistical support to national initiatives on safe blood for safe motherhood through public voluntary blood donation exercises and provided capacity building training for the media and activists.

Mrs Okine said Ghana has been described by various reports as making progress towards safe motherhood, adding that her outfit has envisage a nation where leadership and partnership would lead to greater impact on healthcare delivery for women living everywhere.

She said in 2014 budget, government has announced a voluntary 10 per cent pay cut for all members of the executive intended to be used for construction of Community-based Health Planning and Services compounds focusing on maternal and neonatal health.

She said government has expressed its intension to expand health facilities across the country and it is necessary that all these facilities are equipped with services to ensure improved access to obstetric and neonatal care services.

Mrs Okine added that the Coalition had participated in the Millennium Development Goals global countdown by presenting a 10-Action-Point document to the Minister of Health.

She urged government to make effort to deliver adequate structures, processes and emergency obstetric care across districts to promote functionality of maternal and newborn survival initiatives.

Dr Yakubu Zakaria, Director of Programmes at Integrated Social Development Centre, said NGOs in health institutions are suffering from release of funds from government.

He said 99 per cent of the institutions have not received any funding from government and only rely on donors for their projects.

Dr Zakaria urged government to improve on funds to civil society’s in health organisations to facilitate their work in an effective and efficient manner.

source : GNA