From left:  Deputy Minister of Health, Tina Mensah, Hoshi Hirofumi, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Dr Nsiah Asare and MoH Chief Director, Dr Afisa Zakariah

The Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to introduce a combined maternal and child health (MCH) record book into the healthcare delivery system.

The record book, which is expected to be rolled out next year, will replace the existing child health record book and the maternal health record books as they will be integrated into one booklet.

The MCH record book will addresses issues such as nutrition, growth monitoring and promotion and health education in a more focused and illustrative way.

Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, in his remarks during the signing ceremony, explained that the book would significantly improve the maternal and child health delivery in the country.

This, he said, would be through ensuring continuum of care and proper recording of the mother and child healthcare from pregnancy to five years after delivery.

“It is designed to link the health records of mothers to her child from pregnancy till the child attains the age of five. The book contains more information on essential maternal and child health service and health education messages in the form that can be easily understood by mothers,” he said.

The sector minister, thus, pledged his commitment and that of the ministry to make every effort to improve the maternal and child health status in the country.

The Chief Representative of JICA, Hoshi Hirofumi, explained the aim of integrating several existing maternal and child health record books into one is to improve the maternal and child health service delivery and outcomes by ensuring proper recording of the mother and child healthcare.

“The new book when introduced will ensure provision of integrated care for mothers and children at the right time and also help reduce workload and improve efficiency and safety of the MCH services,” he revealed.

Dr Nsiah Asare, Director General of GHS, in a short remark explained that the country has worked towards improving MCH services, adding the records books has evolved over the years to respond to overcoming emerging challenges and expanding package of services for maternal and child health.

He said the current effort by the agencies will empower health workers, mothers and communities to provide and receive high quality MCH services.

“We, on our part, will work tirelessly to sustain these programmes and improve the health of the population particularly women and children,” he added.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri