Fourteen per cent of girls aged between 15 and 19 years begin child bearing in Ghana, according to a 2014 survey conducted by the Statistical Service Department.
The study, titled the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS), indicated that, the number of teenagers who begun child bearing rose rapidly with age, from one per cent at age 15 to 31 at age 19.
The study added that children born to very young mothers were at increased risk of sickness and death, with teenage mothers more likely to experience adverse pregnancy outcomes and more constrained in their ability to pursue educational opportunities than young women, who delay child bearing.
The study was made known to The Ghanaian Times by the Consultant Statistician to Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Mr. George Mensah, on Saturday at the launch of Royal Mission Medical Relief (MMR) hospitals at Glefe, a suburb of Accra, on Saturday.
Mr. Mensah also the Board Chairman of MMR hospitals, revealed that infant mortality rate declined from 64 to 41 per 1,000 children when a comparison was done between the five-year period preceding 2003 to 2014 of the GDHS.
He said the doctor to patient ratio was around one is to 600 patient ration (1:600), adding that the government and Private Partnership in healthcare delivery was critical to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other health related targets of the country.
“Our middle income status as a nation compels organisations such as the MMR hospitals to supplement government’s efforts by talking healthcare delivery to communities such as Glife to help improve on the health indicators from the survey,” he observed.
Mr. Mensah said that apart from addressing challenges of the GDHS, the MMR hospitals would help promote environmental and personal hygiene.
The Chief Executive Officer of MMR hospitals, Mr. Addom Seme, said the time had come for the extension of healthcare to all communities through the establishment of hospitals.
Mr. Seme said apart from general medical services, the hospitals offered specialist services in pediatric, dietary, gynaecology, dental, cancer, hypertensive and diabetics.
“We offer a 24-hour service with a 109-bed capacity and a dedicated staff poised to deliver more outreach programmes to meet the health needs of all Ghanaians,” he added.
The Chief Executive of Health Facilities Regulatory Agency, Dr. Sylvia Anie, asked residents to take advantage of the facility’s services and promote health care in the rural communities in the Greater Accra Region.
By Daniel N. Amparbeng