Health News of Thursday, 17 July 2014
The quest to significantly improve maternal and child health, as captured under the Millennium Development Goals Four and Five, may be difficult to achieve within the Tarkwa Municipality because the only road that leads to the Municipal Hospital is becoming ‘a death trap.’
A medical doctor at the facility, Dr. Bennett Owusu, told the Ghana News Agency that pregnant women go through lots of complications and sometimes contractions leading to pre-mature deliveries on using the road.
“Some of them also miscarried their pregnancies,” he said, complaining that, the victims often vented their anger of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department, while some commercial drivers are now unwilling to ply the road.
The Reverend Osei Boateng, head of Administration of the hospital, said the 150 capacity hospital with three specialists, may gradually become a white elephant as the bad road network was having a telling effect on the facility, which is a major referral centre in the area.
Rev. Boateng said the situation worsens during the rainy season and explained that many nurses and doctors constantly agitate against the state of the road.
Some residents of Bogrekrom, a community near the hospital, corroborated the story, saying the “terrible” nature of the two-kilometre stretch to the health facility, posed a danger to everyone who wanted to access the hospital and not to only pregnant women.
Mr. John Mensah, a community member, told the GNA that Bogrekrom had made contributions over the years to repair and sustain the deplorable bridge that linked the hospital to the main road but the current state was beyond their capabilities.
Some of the residents and commercial drivers likened the holes on the road to manholes and called for urgent rehabilitation works.
The use of the hospital, built four years ago, was even delayed for two years in wait of the rehabilitation of the road.
Meanwhile, Dr. Jack Galley, Municipal Health Director, told the GNA that the road had been awarded on contract and pleaded with companies operating within the municipality to argument the Government’s efforts at making healthcare accessible.
Mrs. Christiana Cobbinah, Municipality Chief Executive, said the assembly was working hard to get the road in good shape and called on the public to exercise restraint.
The Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG) aims to reduce child mortality from the 1990 rate by two-thirds in 2015, while Goal 5 seeks to reduce maternal mortality by three-quarters.
According to the Ministry of Health, even though Ghana is largely on track to achieve most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), it is unlikely that the 2015 target on MDG 4 will be met unless coverage of effective child survival interventions is increased.
To reach this goal, Ghana must cut under-five mortality to less than 50 deaths per 1,000 live births, but the ratio is currently above 70 per 1,000 according to the African Development Bank (AfDB).
A recent report by the Maternal Mortality Estimation Inter-Agency Group of the United Nations says the Maternal Mortality Rate in Ghana has declined by 49 percent between 1990 and 2013.
It says although it reduced from 760 in 1990 to 380 in 2013, there remains a substantial amount of effort to reach the Millennium Development Goal 5 target of 185 deaths per 100,000 live births.
Maternal Mortality Rate is the number of maternal deaths during a given time period per 100,000 live births during the same time period.