- On January 27, 2017
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SEND GHANA, in collaboration with European Union, Christian Aid, Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Services, organised an event called the “Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Award” to reward health facilities in the Upper East, Upper West and Northern regions for their contribution to the improvement of maternal health service delivery through participatory governance.
The MDG Award recognised the remarkable work done by these facilities in advancing Ghana’s course of achieving the Millennium Development Goal 5 with respect to maternal health.
In all, a total of six (6) health facilities were rewarded for their consistency and tenacity in promoting maternal health service delivery. Their outstanding contributions to the improvement of health and well-being of women and children in Ghana were also acknowledged.
The awards were received by Tumu District Hospital, Walewale District Hospital, Zebilla District Hospital, Sombo Health Centre, Nyankpala Health Centre and Paga Health Centre for exhibiting professionalism in dealing with health cases. They were also honoured for establishing links with stakeholders in the health sector and brought to the fore simple but innovative measures to eliminate maternal deaths, which have been adopted by many health facilities across the country.
Each health facility received a citation and health equipment valued at 2000 euros as part of their award package.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Beatrice Heymann, Principal Medical Officer of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), expressed worry about the scale of current maternal mortality in Ghana; she encouraged expectant women to always visit health facilities for safe delivery and antenatal.
Dr. Heymann acknowledged SEND GHANA’s contribution and partnership towards safe motherhood, and charged everyone to get on board.
“GHS is delighted to partner with SEND to reduce maternal deaths. We value this partnership. The situation of maternal death can be addressed if we all get on board. It is too big for one organisation to deal with. Together we can achieve zero maternal deaths in Ghana,” she added.
Ghana has made some reasonable progress in reducing maternal deaths in the country, and SEND GHANA, with support from its partners, has been part of that progress by working with state actors in ensuring that maternal health service delivery through participatory governance is greatly improved.
On his part, the Acting Country Manager of Christian Aid, Mr. Ernest Okyere, noted that it is about time Ghanaians get angry about maternal deaths.
“We have to be angry about our system not allowing our women to deliver safely,” Mr. Okyere said.
He appreciated the contributions made by stakeholders towards ensuring zero deaths during childbirth. Mr. Okyere further expressed hope that, someday we will achieve zero maternal mortality.
Though the MDGs have given way to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), maternal health status of the MDG has improved over the past 20 years, according to UNDP. Global Institutional maternal mortality rate reduced from 216 per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 164 per 100,000 live births in 2010 with a target of 54 per 100,000 live births at the end of 2015.
However, it is globally acknowledged that the pace of progress has been slow resulting in the failure of many developing countries, including Ghana, to achieve the MDG 5 target of reducing maternal mortality rate by three quarters at the end 2015.
This suggests that a lot of work has to be done; therefore, health facilities that have shown the way by distinguishing themselves to the efforts of reducing maternal deaths must be recognized and celebrated. This is why the MDG award has become necessary.
Ms. Clara Osei-Boateng, SEND GHANA’s Director of Policy Advocacy Programmes, added her voice to the call for everyone to get involved in the fight to reduce maternal deaths.
“It is pathetic for women to die as a result of giving birth; therefore, we must do all we can to prevent this from happening so that Ghana will be a better place for women to live, conceive, deliver and raise children.”
“Maternal health service delivery is a shared responsibility and all health stakeholders are key partners in supporting and holding the Ministry of Health to their commitment to improve health care services especially to expectant and nursing mothers,” she added.
The award winning facilities were advised to ensure their health professionals exhibit good attitude in the discharge of their duties.
Improving Maternal Health Service Delivery through Participatory Governance (IMPROVE) is a three-year European Union (EU) funded project which was implemented by Christian Aid and SEND GHANA.
The project aimed at contributing to the effective delivery of maternal health services in Ghana with a specific objective of ensuring that citizens in the selected districts effectively held government accountable leading to improved accountability, responsiveness and service delivery in the area of maternal health over the lifespan of the project.
The project also aimed at helping the country to meet some of the Millennium Development Goals, especially on health.
The project further helped to equip members of selected communities drawn from 30 districts in the Northern, Upper East and Upper Regions, with knowledge and skills to adopt good health practices, and in effect, help reduce the danger related to pregnancy and childbirth in these communities.
The awardees expressed gratitude to European Commission, SEND GHANA and Christian Aid for their support, and promised to make good use of the equipment and work even harder to further reduce maternal deaths in their area.
Source- SEND GHANA