Mother and baby
Ghana has recorded a decline in its Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) by 49 percent between 1990 and 2013 but still far behind the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5.
According to the new report released by ‘Trends in maternal mortality: 1990 to 2013’ a Maternal Mortality Estimation Inter-Agency Group (MMEIG) of the United Nations (UN), while the country’s MMR had reduced from 760 in 1990 to 380 in 2013, there remains a substantial amount of effort to reach the MDG 5 target of 185 deaths per 100,000 live births.
The report indicated that 3,100 women died from pregnancy-related complications in Ghana between January and December 2013.
It however pointed that despite the high maternal deaths recorded, Ghana is considered as one of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa ‘making progress’ towards the MDG 5 target.
The Maternal Health Advisor of the MamaYe Campaign in Ghana, Dr Sylvia Deganus, expressed delight that the rate of Skilled Attendant at Birth (SAB) to delivery cases had gone up from 60.3 percent in 2010 to 63.1 percent.
‘This is very important because the work done by civil society organisations and health officials over the years is paying off. Antenatal counselling sessions have been really helpful in increasing the number of pregnant women attended to by SABs,’ she said.
She said the release of the report was timely because it came at a time when the world was celebrating the contribution of midwives to the survival of pregnant women and motherhood.
‘There is no gainsaying the fact that training many more SABs and building the necessary health facilities will go a long way to put Ghana’s progress on track,’ she noted.
She also urged civil society organisations to press on in demanding better quality of service from health officials and efficient allocation of government’s funds to improve maternal and newborn health in Ghana.
Globally, maternal mortality had reduced by 45% between 1990 and 2013.
In 2013, an estimated 289,000 women died due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth; down from 523,000 in 1990.
Equatorial Guinea, Cape Verde, Eritrea and Rwanda are the four African countries described as ‘on track’ to meeting MDG 5.
The report, seventh in the series, said sub-Saharan Africa is still the most risky region in the world, in matters relating to complications in pregnancy and childbirth.
The region has the highest MMR (510), accounting for 62% (179,000) of global maternal deaths.
These latest estimates, according to the report, were made based on an improved methodology and data, gathered from country consultations and compared to previous estimates.
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