The Central Regional Directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has initiated an Accelerated Action to Improve Maternal and Newborn Survival health outcomes. This strategic move aims to enhance maternal and newborn health services and reduce mortality rates in the region.
The project encompasses a comprehensive approach to reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health, and Nutrition services. To ensure accessibility and understanding, the initiative has been translated into local languages for easy communication between clients and health personnel.
Dr Marion Okoh-Owusu, the Regional Head Director overseeing public health, highlighted the significance of this initiative in achieving zero maternal deaths. The intervention targets to increase skilled attendants at birth and reduce maternal mortality ratio, anaemia in pregnancy, and neonatal mortality rates.
Both in-person and virtual meetings have been conducted to equip staff with the necessary skills to deliver targeted health information and services to pregnant women and newborns. The mission involves engaging traditional birth attendants, community leaders, and prayer camps through media sensitization and resource mobilization, empowering staff to implement the initiative effectively.
Key components of the initiative include group antenatal care, home visits during pregnancy, improved pregnancy schools, and organizing midwives' meetings at district and regional levels. Dr Okoh-Owusu called for support from all stakeholders to provide logistics and funds to ensure the success of the initiative and achieve universal health coverage.
In an overview of the initiative, Mrs Rosemond Yeboah Sarpong, the Regional Public Health Nurse, highlighted the increase in family planning coverage from 40.8% in 2022 to 44.6% in 2023, surpassing the target of 40%. She emphasized the benefits of family planning in preventing unintended pregnancies, and sexually transmitted diseases, and reducing infertility rates.
Mrs. Sarpong encouraged pregnant women to seek antenatal care within the first trimester for comprehensive care, stressing the importance of skilled birth attendants in reducing the risk of intra-partum-related complications or stillbirths.