No effort will be spared to strengthen health systems – Regional Minister
Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, the Volta Regional Minister, has assured the people of the government’s commitment to strengthening the health systems of the country for effective and quality healthcare delivery.
“No effort will be spared to strengthen the health system and cultivate the enabling environment, where skilled health professionals provide and make the reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health services accessible to all who need it,” he said.
The Minister said these in a speech read on his behalf by Ms Juliana Kpedekpo, District Chief Executive for Adaklu, at the launch of the “Zero Tolerance for Maternal Mortality” campaign in Ho, dubbed, “Stop Preventable Maternal Deaths and Disabilities.”
The campaign aims at decreasing unintended pregnancies among women and girls through the provision of safe abortion and family planning services to reduce maternal deaths in the country.
He said the government would continue to provide the needed infrastructure, equipment, appropriate mix of human resources and incentives to sustain and improve the resilience of the health system to deliver quality care and improved health outcomes, including maternal death.
Dr Letsa called for support and collaboration of all and sundry to remove all the barriers and unfair treatments that compel women and girls with unintended pregnancies to dangerous practices that eventually lead to their untimely deaths.
The Minister said the death of a mother, whether pregnant or not and irrespective of the cause of death, was a tragedy not only for her family but also for society.
“According to the Ghana Health Service, nearly half of pregnancies recorded in Ghana annually were unintended and often lead women and girls to resort to unsafe practices to terminate the fetuses, resulting in life-long complications and deaths sometimes,” he said.
He said though abortion-related maternal deaths were highly preventable, issues of stigma, among other social and economic factors, discouraged women from seeking safe techniques for terminating unintended pregnancies.
This, he said, called for all hands to be on deck to remove all the barriers and unfair treatments that push women and girls with unwanted pregnancies to premature deaths.
Dr Senanu Kwasi Djokoto, Acting Volta Regional Director of Health, said though the country was making significant progress in reducing maternal deaths more had to be done to make the zero-tolerance campaign successful.
He commended the government for the agenda 111 project, saying this would increase access to healthcare services and help deal with maternal mortality issues.
The Acting Director said for every one million women who delivered in the country, about 900 of them lost their lives as a result of biological and physiological causes, describing the situation as completely unacceptable.
Dr Djokoto called on all relevant stakeholders to join the campaign to ensure that women have a safe delivery and to end maternal mortality in the country.
The Acting Health Director told Ghana News Agency that in the Volta region, a total of 41 women lost their lives during delivery in 2020 and 35 in 2021.
Mama Gbloesi II, the Queen mother of Ziavi-Dzogbe and a Comprehensive Abortion Care Champion, urged pregnant women to endeavour to deliver their babies at health facilities.
She said to ensure zero tolerance for maternal deaths, measures were in place to make funds available to support needy pregnant women to have access to health facilities for safe delivery.