Ghana unlikely to achieve MDG on maternal, infant mortality by 2015

Despite significance reduction in maternal, infant and under five mortality rates in Ghana, it is unlikely that the 2015 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets could be met.

Mr Prem Shukla, Country Director of Plan Ghana, a non-governmental organization (NGO), who made this observation, said Ghana could achieve the targets if effective maternal and child survival interventions were increased.

Mr Shukla was speaking at the opening of a five-day start–up workshop on the Women and Their Children’s Health (WATCH) project in Koforidua on Monday.

He said the maternal mortality rate per 100,000 live births in the country remained high above expectation due to postpartum, hemorrhage, hypertensive, disease and unsafe abortion, leading to maternal death.

Mr Shukla said it was against this background that the NGO decided to launch the WATCH project, to help reduce morbidity of mothers, neonate and children under five years at the household, community and health facility level through the use of evidence-based, feasible, cost –effective and gender responsive interventions in six districts in Eastern and Volta Regions.

He said the project sought to build the capacity of communities so that men and women could recognize, prevent and respond to basic Maternal, Newborn and Child Health  (MNCH).

Mr Shukla said it would also improve upon the quality of health care services and strengthen rural women- friendly health care systems.

He mentioned that the WATCH project would  cover approximately 103,000 women of childbearing age, 88, 000 children under five in 120 communities, and would also build the capacity of 180 community  mobilizers, 360 community health workers and 600 community leaders  with 80 per cent of them being women.

Mr Shuykla said the project would help men and women  to acquire knowledge in basic MNCH issues, and increase women participation in decision-making on sustainable development as well as reduce inequalities between women and men, girls and boys.

Mr Shukla said the NGO is operating in 17 districts in the Eastern, Central, Volta and Upper West Regions.

He said more than 300 communities across the country are benefiting from projects of the NGO that seek the rights, health, education, food security and protection of children.

He commended Canadian International development Agency for sponsoring the project.

The Eastern Regional Director of Health Services, Dr Erasmus  Agongo, called on participants to take the workshop seriously and come out with new ideas that would help the country to achieve the MDG by 2015.

Participants were district directors of health services of the Volta and Eastern regions and other health workers.

Source: GNA

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