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Health News of Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Source: GNA

CSOs should help reduce maternal mortality

The Greater Accra Regional Health Directorate Tuesday made a passionate appeal to stakeholders to get on board to help reduce maternal mortality and meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) five by 2015.

Dr. Linda Vanotoo, Regional Health Director, who made the call at a stakeholder sensitization meeting on MDG Acceleration Framework (MAF) in Accra, said reducing maternal mortality was beyond the sector Ministry and the Ghana Health Service.

Since the progress in reducing maternal mortality ratio by three quarters by 2015 was off track, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with Ghana Health Service and its partners have developed an action plan; the Millennium Development Goals Acceleration Framework (MAF) to accelerate progress towards achieving the goal as a country.

The MAF seeks to contribute to the reduction of maternal mortality from 451/100,000 live births in 2008 to 185/100,000 live birth in 2015.

It also plans to contribute to a reduction in institutional maternal mortality ratio from 196/100,000 live in 2009 to 54/100,000 in 2015.

Dr. Vanotoo noted that an inter-sectoral approach, including roads and transportation among others, play a major role in making health accessible to all who need it.

She said there were faces, dream and stories behind the women who lost their lives apart from the dependants left behind and, therefore, called on Civil Society groups to educate their members and also offer their time, resources, ideas and land for CHPS centres to help nib the menace in the bud.

“Let’s all get on board to help. When Ghana overcomes the menace, the credit would go to all Ghanaians and not the health sector alone," she said.

“The Maternal health menace has become a muddy area, but together we can bring about a drastic reduction if we all put our hands on the wheel.”

The region, she said, recorded 201 maternal deaths, in 2012, 6000 teenage pregnancy and about 2000 neonatal deaths, an indication of sending women to "war with no weapons".

To improve maternal and newborn care, there is the need to utilise quality and cost effective maternal child health services, clean/safe delivery and emergency obstetric care and deliberating in maternal and reproductive health process, she said.

Dr. Ebenezer Oduro-Mensah, Family Physician Specialist at the Directorate said the MAF had three priorities and cross cutting areas of: family planning, skilled delivery, emergency obstetric and newborn care; as well as focusing on improving maternal health at both community and health care facility levels through the use of evidence-based, feasible and cost effective interventions to reduce maternal mortality.

Ghana was rated 41st in the World Maternal Mortality rate index he said, and noted that, there was an urgent need for the country to redouble its efforts to stem the tide.

Participant at the meeting raised issues, such as unruly attitude of health care personnel, mothers refusing to attend antenatal clinics, need for more CHPS compounds, people not using treated nets and the use of pictorial presentations for education.

Dr. Vanotoo welcomed the suggestion and noted that their concerns would be addressed to help achieve the MDG five by 2015.

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