Even though Ghana is making strides towards achieving some key Millennium Development Goals it appears increasingly unlikely the MDG target to significantly reduce maternal and new born deaths will be achieved.
350 out of every 100 thousand babies die at birth at the moment. The goal is to halve this figure to 185 in the next two years.
To help fast track this goal in the limited time available, the "MamaYe Ghana Campaign" the Ghana version of a programme to tackle the problem in five sub-saharan African countries has been launched in Accra.
On a daily basis it is said that 7 women die from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth and 3 babies die every hour during childbirth.
The main challenges inhibiting the achievement of the goal has to do with availability, affordability and accessibility to quality healthcare.
The Ghana campaign is a collaborative effort between the school of Public Health of the University of Ghana, Evidence for Action and the Alliance for reproductive health rights.
Dean, school of public health, University of Ghana, Prof. Richard Adanu noted the campaign is an advocacy campaign to engage the public in ensuring survival of mothers and newborns.
He added there will also be a website which would have information on surviving mothers, health workers and information that will aid in the improvement of healthcare delivery of mothers and babies during childbirth.
Former CEO of the Chamber of Mines, Dr. Joyce Aryee who launched the programme challenged various stakeholders to see to its execution.
“’ I'm happy there is collaboration and coordination, that’s what this country needs the most, and my challenge to the ministry of health is that none of our ministries would be a stand-alone ministry and all ministries must recognize that when one ministry takes a decision others would join hands in ensuring that there is real change”
Former Deputy Minister of Health, Rojo Mettle Nunoo commended the alliance for championing the issue of maternal and newborns survival and appealed to health professionals not to go on strike on mothers and children.
He pledged the Ministry’s full commitment to zero tolerance of maternal and infant deaths, improve health facilities and roll out vigorous community health programmes and training in various communities for health workers in improving maternal delivery.
As excessive bleeding before and after birth is one of the major causes of maternal deaths, the MamaYe Ghana campaign will also embark on a national blood donation campaign to ensure blood stocks improve.