First lady Naadu Mills urges assemblies to mobilise resources to reduce maternal deaths
The First Lady, Mrs Ernestina Naadu Mills has called on stakeholders in the health sector to mobilise additional resources to support the reduction of maternal deaths in the country.
The First lady made the call when she launched the “Campaign for accelerated reduction of maternal mortality in Africa (CARMMA), at the Northern Regional Advocacy forum with district and municipal assemblies in Tamale on Wednesday.
CARMMA is an initiative of the African Union Commission to curb the continents high pregnancy-related deaths and was launched by the first lady in 2009.
CARMMA’s strategy is to use policy dialogue, advocacy and community social mobilisation to enlist political commitment and increase resources and societal change in support of maternal health.
She commended the Kpandai District Assembly for its efforts in transporting fistula patients to the Tamale Fistula Centre to access services, saying: “This is the type of collaboration and contribution I am expecting from the municipal and district assemblies towards reducing maternal mortality.”
“We are building on one of the global campaign strategies of mobilising political commitment and support of key stakeholders including national authorities and communities to mobilise additional resources in support of maternal and new-born health,” the First lady said.
Mrs Naadu Mills commended Ghana Health Service, Regional Directorate of Health and the United Nations Fund for Population Activities for the obstetric fistula project in Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions for the establishment of the fistula centre.
Dr Bernard Coquelin, UNFPA representative in Ghana said the Maternal Mortality Ratio was one of the causes of major pregnancy-related deaths per 100,000 live births.
He said the number of women who die as a result of childbearing during pregnancy or within 42 days of delivery or termination of pregnancy in a year was 100,000 per live births.
He said globally there are currently more than 358,000 maternal deaths per annum and Africa accounted for more than half, representing 53 per cent of the number.
He said UNFPA is a key player among the UN agencies in ensuring that the Millennium Development Goals 5 is achieved by 2015, adding that CARMMA is one such means of ensuring its attainment.
Dr Coquelin said the UNFPA was aware of the huge financial commitment in ensuring that maternal deaths are reduced to the barest minimum, adding that: “As policy makers and decision makers, we have a great responsibility to ensure that no woman dies whilst giving life.”
He said evidence all over the world showed that implementing good policies and programmes such as emergency obstetric and newborn care, family planning and skilled birth attendance played a big role in reducing maternal deaths.
He therefore called on the district assemblies to support the district health management teams to put in place efficient systems to facilitate improved maternal and child health and reduction of maternal mortality.