Rural Initiatives for Self-Empowerment Ghana (RISE-Ghana), a non-government organisation, has underscored the need to invest in quality maternal healthcare to achieve the Universal Health Coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Ms Jaw-haratu Amadu, the Head of Programmes, RISE-Ghana, said apart from improving upon the infrastructural challenges confronting the healthcare system, community members needed to be involved in ensuring the delivery of quality healthcare services.
She was speaking to journalists on the sidelines of a training workshop on the Patients Charter, organised for health stakeholders at Nangodi in the Nabdam District of the Upper East Region.
The three-year project, with funding support from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, is meant to engage relevant stakeholders aimed at strengthening health committees and citizen groups to champion access to quality maternal health in the two districts.
The Patient’s Charter is a document that outlines the rights and responsibilities of patients, and the codes of conduct of healthcare providers to ensure the provision of quality healthcare.
The document is to empower clients to demand information on their health status and other relevant services, and the obligation to provide accurate information to the healthcare providers for appropriate and satisfactory care, she said.
She said community members and other stakeholders, including health committees, needed to monitor and support activities that gave rise to quality health services delivery and demand accountability from duty bearers.
The Head of Programmes said the stakeholders were also trained on the use of the scorecards to increase their knowledge to monitor structures in the health service and help educate other members of the communities on accountability for improved healthcare delivery.
“Inadequate skilled delivery and referral system remains a major challenge in our health care delivery system, especially delays in referring a patient to a high facility, and these are the things that community members, especially the health committees, need to come in with the health workers to identify those challenges and see how to resolve them.
“Health is very essential in terms of our lives and so if a woman is supposed to deliver under the care of a skilled health person and the person does not get that it contributes to maternal deaths, and we know it is not acceptable for one to die in the course of childbirth,” she said.
While asking pregnant women to report to the healthcare facilities for Antenatal Care (ANC) to avoid complications, MsAmadu further encouraged men to assist their pregnant wives and attend ANC with them, adding that it had been proven that the act helped to reduce risk of maternal deaths.
Mr Abdul-Rashid Imoro, the Executive Director, Inspire to Act, who facilitated the training, said some healthcare workers were not abreast of the provisions of the patient’s charter, and the situation was breeding conflict in many healthcare facilities between clients and healthcare workers.
He urged the Ghana Health Service to make the charter visible at the health facilities to ensure that healthcare workers provided satisfactory service to clients to improve upon quality of healthcare. -GNA