UW records decline in maternal mortality

AMIN AMIDUAMIN AMIDU SULEMANI,UPPER WEST REGIONAL MINSTER. SULEMANI,UPPER WEST REGIONAL MINSTER.The Upper West Region (UWR) has recorded a significant decline in its maternal mortality ratio of 212.0 per 100,000 live births in 2010, to 155.8 per 100,000 as of last year.

The progress was recorded following the implementation of the ‘Improvement of maternal and neonatal health services utilising Community Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds in the UWR.

The project funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and implemented by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) also led to an increase in the number of functional CHPS compounds in the region thus from 91 in 2011 to 212 in 2016.

The Director General of the GHS, Dr. Ebenezer Appiah Denkyira, who was speaking at a forum held in Accra yesterday to disseminate the outcomes of the second phase of the GHS and JICA’s CHPS project in the UWR, said institutional neonatal mortality towed a declining trend within the project implementation period.

He said the five-year project which is expected to end in September this year will lead to the construction of 64 CHPS compounds in 13 districts in the region.

“The project has improved the delivery of quality maternal and neonatal health services at the community level and built the capacity of midwives,” Dr. Denkyira said.

Mr. Koji Makino, Chief Representative of JICA, stressed the need for leaders of the health sector to be committed to the deployment and management of health workforce to remote areas.

He stated that JICA would start a new project which would be the third phase of the project in the Northern area to expedite and optimise the outcomes and efforts of the programme implementers.

He appealed to the GHS to sustain the gains made to ensure a smooth attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Dr. Koku Awoonor, the Director of Policy, Planning Monitoring and Evaluation at the GHS, said the third phase of the project  would ensure that the CHPS was rolled out to cover every district  in the three Northern regions with focus on the deprived areas.

Dr. Awoonor said government was working on a nine million dollar grant to start the third phase in January next year.

He said another nine million dollar grant was being provided to Ghana by the Korean International Development Agency to scale up the already implemented CHPS project in 13 districts in the northern regions.

The forum discussed good practices, which were implemented in the UWR and lessons learned, which could be adopted by other health agencies.

 By Linda Naa Deide Aryeetey          

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