- On December 31, 2014
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Ghana is far from achieving the Millennium Development Goals’ (MDGs) aimed at reducing maternal mortality to 185 per 100, 000 live births by 2015.
In an interview, John Nkaw, the Northern Regional Programme Officer of SEND-GHANA, explained that, “if you look at the rate of decline, it suggests that Ghana is not likely to attain the MDG on Maternal Health.”
According to Nkaw, the quality of investment to the health sector has not been good besides, cultural practices such a woman who gives birth at home is considered brave, all stand to militate against the achievement of MGD on maternal health.
Ghana is currently doing about 350 per 100,000 live births.
An article on a local Ghana News Agency (GNA) website on 27 August reported that Ghanaians have been advised to pay their taxes regularly to accrue more revenue for government to implement project activities and to help achieve the national MDG5 acceleration framework and the country’s action plan for maternal health.
It quoted Nkaw as saying that, “it is important for government to use tax revenue to solve maternal health care especially at the district levels and as well as monitor quality and effectiveness of delivery in the country.”
A STAR-Ghana funded research conducted by SEND-GHANA titled: “Halting needless death of women: The need for priority investment in maternal healthcare delivery in Ghana,” revealed that as a signatory to the MDGs and the Abuja Declaration, which enjoins nations to, among other things, reduce maternal mortality, Ghana has over the last decade implemented a number of policy interventions, including the free maternal health care policy, national health insurance scheme, safe motherhood initiatives, and roll back malaria to address maternal healthcare challenges.
In spite of all these, however, experts say the pace of progress suggests that Ghana is unlikely to attain the goal of halving maternal mortality. Financial constraints was said to hinder efforts to provide adequate health facilities, including well-equipped Community Health Posts (CHP) compounds and skilled personnel to man the facilities.
The report also bemoaned the lack citizen participation in putting together the health budget.
Nkaw used the opportunity to call on government to improve on accountability, responsiveness and good service delivery in maternal health by the end of 2016.
He made the call during a training workshop on maternal mortality rate and tax sensitisation in Tamale.
The event, which was organised by SEND-GHANA, was to contribute to the effective delivery of maternal health services and progress towards the achievement of MDGs and other income tax laws in the country.
He said government should equip communities with knowledge and skills to adopt good health practices in order to reduce the danger related to pregnancy and childbirth in the communities.
Participants were drawn from 30 districts in the Northern, Upper East and Upper Regions to take part in the two-day programme to prepare them for the Improving Maternal Health Service Delivery through Participatory Governance (IMPROVE) project which is being funded by European Union and implemented by Christian Aid and SEND-GHANA.