A report by the Special Committee of Parliament on Poverty Reduction Strategy has revealed that Ghana is losing the battle against the high incidence of maternal mortality.
The report indicated that the country might not achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of reducing maternal mortality rate of 185 to 100,000 live births by 2015.
It is estimated that currently, the institutional maternal mortality rate declined only from 170 per 1,000 live births in 2009 to 164 per 1,000 in 2010.
The report of the Special Committee on the implementation of the Ghana Shared Growth and Development (GSGDA), which was adopted by the House Thursday, pointed out that even though there had been progress in the health sector, reduction in the maternal mortality rate would be around 340 per 1000,000 by 2015 which was far below the MDG target of 185 per 100,000 live births.
It however observed that notwithstanding slow pace in reducing maternal mortality, the overall performance of the health sector continued to show positive and improved outlook.
For instance, the report observed that the outpatient attendance continued to increase, with supervised deliveries increasing from 45.6 percent in 2009 to 48.2 percent in 2010.
Furthermore, the nurse to population ratio improved marginally from 1: 1,537 in 2009 to 1: 1,510 in 2010 while the doctor to population ratio improved from 1: 11,929 in 2009 to 1: 10,423.
The Special Committee also noted that notwithstanding the modest achievements, some services witnessed declines in performance such as immunization coverage which dropped from 89.3 percent in 2009 to 84.9 percent in 2010 and the coverage of pregnant women who received one or more antenatal care visits also dropped from 92.1 percent in 2009 to 90.6 per cent in 2010.
The Special Committee report also observed huge disparities between the deliveries assisted by health professionals in urban areas and those in the rural within the regions.
For example it noted that only 25 percent of deliveries were assisted by health professional in the Northern Region as compared with 80 percent in the Greater Accra Region.
Moving the motion for the adoption of the report, the Chairman of the Special Committee, Imoro Kakpagu Yakubu, advocated that the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) be adequately resourced to get Ghanaians well informed of the direction of the national development agenda.
Yakubu explained that the committee was of the view that it was only when the citizens were well informed of the national aspiration and direction of the country that they would be more supportive of the roadmap to achieving the nation's set goals.