President John Dramani Mahama on Saturday said renewal of the mandate of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) would be based on their performance and role in the reduction of child and maternal mortality.
He said the policy is in line with government’s move to substantially reduce the high incidence of child and maternal mortality to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
President Mahama made this known when he launched the Campaign for Accelerated Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA)and newborn health week celebration accountability report on the theme: “No woman should die giving life: The role of Local Authorities.”
The programme, which was launched four years ago by former First Lady, Mrs Ernestina Naadu Mills is intended to disseminate information on child and maternal mortality and seek solutions to those challenges.
It attracted patrons from the Ghana Health Service, regional ministers, representatives of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies and other stakeholders in the country’s health delivery system.
President Mahama said the current national figure of 320 maternal deaths out of every 10,000 births is unacceptable in view of the fact that the figure is far from the United Nations standard figures of 187 out of every 10,000 births.
He said the criteria is to commit the MMDCEs to own all health facilities and commit their finances to ensure quality health delivery services , particularly in the rural areas of the country are achieved in the coming years.
The president said government would complete 1,600 Community-based Health Planning Service (CHIPS) compounds by 2016 and urged stakeholders to play their roles meaningfully to enhance the feat.
President Mahama commended Mrs Naadu Mills for her efforts at launching the CARMMA programme throughout the country, which he said is yielding dividends.
Ms Sherry Ayitey, Minister of Health suggested to stakeholders to intensify family planning education and the provision of the necessary infrastructural development that would help in the reduction in maternal mortality.
She announced that plans are afoot to include family planning into the free medical care services under the National Health Insurance Scheme, a step she indicated would reduce the incidence of mortality.
The Health Minister said her outfit is also working around the clock to ensure that every town has a midwife and a community health nurse to cater for the health needs of the people under the CHPS compounds.
She called on the district assemblies to support the idea in terms of accommodation and other facilities to succeed.
Ms Ayitey gave the assurance that her ministry would also step up the ambulance service throughout the country to cater for all emergencies that would subsequently have a positive impact on the achievement of the MDGs.
Mr Akwasi Oppong-Fosu, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development pledged his outfit’s commitment towards the reduction of maternal and child mortality.
Dr Bernard Coquelin, United Nations Population Fund Representative in Ghana commended the government and the people for working hard towards the reduction of maternal and child mortality in line with the demands of the African Union,
He suggested to the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders to ensure food security and the provision of infrastructure that would enhance accessibility to health facilities to reduce the incidence.