The rate of maternal mortality in Ghana should reduce to the barest minimum with the implementation of a comprehensive module of Community-based Health and Planning Services (CHPS) and improved health infrastructure.
Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah who gave the assurance is worried despite several efforts, Ghana continue to record high maternal mortality rate of 350 per 100,000 births.
“In Ashanti Region there is a big problem with maternal mortality. Other regions too have that problem. As a country, we should be doing about 165 per hundred thousand life births; but we are doing 350. We think that if we are able to implement this CHPS strategy, it will be like bringing services to the door step of our people. If we are able to implement this fully, this should help in bringing down maternal mortality”. Dr. Agyemang-Mensah
He attributes the high figures to poor road networks and inadequate health infrastructure.
Dr. Agyemang-Mensah has been inspecting some health projects as part of a 4-day working tour of the Ashanti Region.
The Health Ministry, with the support of development partners, has been putting together a policy framework to streamline the CHPS Compound scheme to an acceptable standards.
A stakeholders meeting was convened recently under the auspices of the Health Minister where modalities for the CHPS facilities were drawn.
The meeting took into consideration physical designs of CHPS facilities, equipment, kind of services to be rendered and personnel who will qualify to work in the facilities.
The meeting was to bring sanity into operations of Community-based Health and Planning Services which until now appears chaotic with different people or entities doing different things under the services.
A draft policy, which has gone through validation, would be presented for Cabinet approval by the end of this month.
When passed the policy would ensure at least every electoral area is equipped with a CHPS facility to take care of patients, especially pregnant women.
Dr. Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah is hopeful the implementation of the CHPS policy will help reduce the increasing maternal mortality rates especially in difficult-to-reach rural areas where poor road network hampers healthcare delivery.
The Health Ministry is also promoting improved health infrastructure with the construction of nine hospitals, with about five of them expected to be completed by 2016.
They include a 500-bed capacity military hospital at Afari in the Atwima Nwabiagya District of the Ashanti Region, six district hospitals at Salaga, Twifo Praso, Asante Bekwai , Tepa and Madina, in the Northern, Central, Ashanti and Greater Accra regions respectively.
The two regional hospitals would be situated at Sawuah in the Ashanti Region and Wa in the Upper West.
Dr. Agyemang-Mensah says measures have been put in place to ensure the projects are completed on schedule. They include sourcing for sponsors to provide funding and holding quarterly meetings with all stakeholders such as contractors, project managers and consultants to discuss state of ongoing projects
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