Medic says Ghana can attain MDG 5

stethoscopeGhana can achieve the Millennium Development Goals (5) if she implements the right interventions, Dr Solomon Gumanga, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist at the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) and University for Development Studies (UDS) has said.

He described the current situation as progress but falling short of target, adding, there was the need to scale up measures to put the country on the path of attaining the health target, which seeks to reduce maternal deaths by three-quarters by the 2015 deadline.

Dr Gumanga was presenting a paper on the maternal mortality situation of the Northern Region at the second Northern Ghana Development Dialogue Series organized by the Tamale Office of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) in collaboration with the Institute for Continuing Education and Interdisciplinary Research (ICEIR) of the UDS in Tamale on Thursday.

The Dialogue was to update stakeholders on the prevalence of the maternal mortality in the Region and how government and other policy makers could give priority attention as well as take urgent steps to address the problems that pre-disposed women to maternal deaths.

It was on the theme: “Maternal Mortality in Ghana:The Case of Northern Region and the attainment of MDG (5)” and brought together officials from state institutions, academia and research institutions, and non-governmental organizations.

Dr Gumanga said there was need to scale up interventions such as use of contraceptives, antenatal attendance, skilled delivery and improved infrastructure if the country was to attain the MDG (5) by the 2015 deadline.

Some key interventions such as scaling-up of integrated safe motherhood programme, the institution of the free maternal/obstetric care policy, the Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compound and increased training of midwives are being implemented but maternal mortality ratio (MMR) remains unacceptably high in the country.

Figures from the Ghana Health Service put the MMR at 147 deaths per 100,000 live births for the Northern Region, 131 deaths per 100,000 live births for the Upper East Region and 161 deaths per 100,000 live births for the Upper West Region, ratios which are way above the target of 50 deaths per 100,000 live births by the year 2015.

Dr Gumanga said while some women failed to attend antenatal, the few that patronized the antenatal services could not be comfortably accommodated by the inadequate infrastructure, coupled with delays in reporting complications to hospitals leading to deaths.

In a speech read for him Mr Bede Ziedeng, Northern Regional Minister, assured that government would continue to provide more CHPS compounds to bring health care delivery closer to the people to address the situation.

Mr Paul Osei-Kuffour, Programmes Manager of CDD-Ghana Tamale Office, who spoke about the dialogue, said “It is expected that civil society will complement government’s efforts by better targeting their interventions to areas most in need of assistance.”

Source: GNA

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