The First Lady, Mrs Ernestina Naadu Mills, has stated that there can be no justification whatsoever for doctors to embark on strike.
Speaking passionately on the ramifications of doctors’ strikes, especially the recent one, on the vulnerable, she said it was unacceptable for doctors to refuse to offer services to the very people whose taxes were used in training them.
The First Lady was speaking at the Ashanti Regional launch of the Campaign for Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA) in Kumasi Thursday.
Mrs Mills is spearheading the Ghana campaign, which is aimed at meeting the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on maternal mortality.
She lamented the absence of doctors in five districts in the Ashanti Region and said the situation would be disastrous if the doctors in the other districts decided to embark on strike.
She said very soon the nation would be called to give account on the MDGs and “so we all have to play our parts well to enable us to reach the expected goals”.
Ghana, she stressed, deserved better in health delivery and everyone had a role to play.
Pointing out how HIV/AIDS had become a major threat to fighting maternal mortality in the country, the First Lady urged the people to avoid acts that could make them contract the disease.
Even though she is the face of CARMMA in Ghana, Mrs Mills said, “The campaign is not mine but ours.”
She challenged the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) to offer the necessary support to the campaign to ensure its success.
She commended the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) for the support given her so far in the campaign.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Dr Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah, noted that maternal mortality was a major challenge to national development and called for concerted efforts to tackle it.
He spoke against cultural practices that continued to contribute to the disturbing situation, stressing that it was time traditional rulers took a serious view of the situation.
The Deputy Director (Public Health) at the Ashanti Regional Health Directorate, Mr Joseph Oduro, said maternal deaths in the region for the first half of the year stood at 138, something he described as unacceptable.
He said health officials were determined to continue playing their roles with all seriousness in a bid to reduce the rate.
The UNFPA Country Representative in Ghana, Dr Bernard Coquelin, said the First Lady’s initiative was a call for everyone to be on board.
He stated that Ghana was showing one of the finest examples on CARMMA.
Source: Daily Graphic