Since the inception of the Free Maternal Healthcare Policy in 2008 to help achieve the Millennium Development Goal 5 by 2015, access to ante-natal care and post natal care has been increased in the country.
The introduction of the policy has also seen access to supervised and skilled deliveries enhanced.
However, with the introduction of free maternal health care in Ghana, 75 women a week still die during childbirth.
32 maternal deaths were recorded last year in the Upper East Region, while so far, 11 maternal deaths have been recorded this year.
This is as a result of anaemia in pregnancy, hypertension, severe malarial haemorrhage, unsafe abortion, and many more. Some of the challenges that confront safe maternal delivery in the region include limited facilities, inadequate health staff, poor road network, and lack of a reliable transport system.
In order to help address the challenges of maternal health care delivery in the region, the Social Enterprise Development Foundation (SEND-Ghana) has organised a one-day stakeholders’ workshop to seek strategies and solutions from the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in the region to improve on the implementation process of the free maternal health care.
Mr. Alagskomah Asakeya Noble, Vice Chairman of Coalition of NGOs in Health in the Upper East Region, has called for the provision of adequate ambulances by the Municipal and District Assemblies and Ghana Health Service for the smooth delivery of health care in the region .
He was of the conviction that if the health facilities are improved, more health professionals trained, road network improved, the role of Traditional Birth Assistants redefined and their capacities built, Ghana would find herself in a good position to attain the MDG 5, which seeks to improve maternal health by 2015.
Mr. Eugene Yibour, Upper East Regional Programme Officer of SEND-Ghana, disclosed that a similar programme was organised last year to enhance mutual trust, respect, transparency and accountability among stakeholders in the operations of the NHIS and general health care delivery in the region, with particular reference to maternal health.
The Deputy Director, Clinical Care for the region, Dr. Ernest Opoku, hinted that 45 midwives were being trained in the region to help address maternal issues.