Tina Mensah, the Deputy Minister of Health, has declared ‘zero tolerance’ for maternal mortality.
“It is unacceptable for any woman to die through childbirth or other related complications in an era where several interventions and numerous policies have been put in place to ensure their safety, according to Ms Mensah.
She challenged health service providers, programme implementors, policy-makers and all stakeholders to re-double their efforts to reduce maternal and neo-natal child mortality.
She argued that Ghana recorded a high maternal mortality rate of 319 per 100,000 Live Births (LB) and national institutional rates of 151 per 100,000, stressing the need to drastically change the old methods.
Ms Mensah disclosed this while addressing the opening of the African Union (AU) colloquium on the Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA).
The colloquium, organized by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) on the theme: ‘Intensifying MNCH in Africa; Drawing on 8 years of CARMMA,’ created the platform for discussions by policy makers, implementors, health partners and stakeholders on how to pool resources together to achieve the desired outcomes.
Mrs Mensah said problems affecting progress towards the achievement of quality Maternal and Neo-natal Child Health (MNCH) could be addressed if “we focus on efforts and channel our resources appropriately on this important issue, which would require commitment on the part of all those concerned.
“We know the challenges and factors influencing maternal mortality in our country and for that matter Africa in general. We know all the approaches and interventions that work. We also have all the structures and systems to enable us bring the situation under control, yet results have not been as expected.
Dr Margaret Agama-Anyetei, the Head of Division Health, Population and Nutrition of the Department of Social Affairs at the African Union (AU) Commission, said CARMMA had been a statutory event on the calendar of the AU since it was initiated in 2009 on the theme: ‘Africa Cares: No Woman should Die while giving Life,’ after the Maputo Plan of Action campaign.
She said that the review after eight years was expected to identify strategies that need to be scaled up to promote the objectives of CARMMA.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri