Miss Emefa Adeti, Ghana’s Most Beautiful, 2012, on Thursday urged the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to let the National Health Insurance Scheme(NHIS) cover the cost of transporting pregnant women to health facilities.
She said this would ensure that pregnant women got to health facilities in time and prevent pregnancy related complications.
Miss Adeti, who was addressing a health forum in Ho under the auspices of Coalition of NGOs in Health in the Volta Region, said the initiative would also enhance ante-natal care attendance among pregnant women.
About 70.9 per cent of pregnant women in the Volta Region access ante-natal care, the lowest in the country.
The forum was on the theme, “Maternal Health and Child Prostitution; the role of CSOs.”
Miss Adeti said many complications in pregnancies were because pregnant women arrived at health facilities late due to transportation challenges.
She was therefore hopeful that “a free transportation policy” for pregnant women would be another positive step in the fight against maternal mortality.
“We have free healthcare for pregnant women but without free transportation, many women especially rural dwellers, cannot access such facilities,” Miss Adeti said.
She suggested that apart from the free ambulance service, the NHIA should make a “special arrangement” for commercial drivers to transport pregnant women to health facilities without demanding money from them.
Madam Joan Eliza, in-charge of Public Health in the Region, said the Region has a very high unmet family planning needs but was hopeful maternal mortality targets set would be achieved by the year 2015.
Dr Atsu Seake-Kwawu, Ho Municipal Director of Health Services, expressed unhappiness at the high rate at which early teens were getting pregnant in the Municipality and called for concerted efforts to address adolescent sexual reproductive health in the area.
Madam Commend Enyam Akpeloo, Volta Regional Chairperson of the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health, called for the establishment of adolescent friendly centres and provision of family education for parents and guardians on how to care for minors.