Ghana continues to be burdened by high rates of maternal mortality, obesity and prevalence of anaemia due to low utilization and accessibility of family planning services, socio-cultural practices and belief systems.
Maternal and Child Health Status
Studies on reproductive, health and nutrition in mothers, newborns, children and adolescents revealed high maternal mortality, prevalence of anemia among pregnant women and adolescent girls. The burden of malnutrition and disparities with wealth quintiles and maternal education among rural and urban dwellers are a major concern in Ghana. Malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency issues are associated with northern while obesity in southern Ghana. Reduction in inequities of healthcare delivery services and ways to improve utilization of community-based healthcare systems, nutrition and health services or program’s among women, adolescents and children are some of the challenges faced in Ghana.
Women of every household have to be educated on complications and provided with higher continuum of care services. Most children and women failed to obtain the continuum of care to improve maternal, newborn and child health.Provision for maternal and child related health services should be standardised so that every child and woman receives key components regardless of the living status and available health facilities. The government intends to attend and tackle inequities in health outcomes by implementation of interventions and equity-enhancing measures.
Despite the modest progress observed, there are substantial inequities in maternal and child health services coverage and health outcomes within and betweencountries.
Healthcare interventions in Ghana
Ghana, a Sub-Saharan African country has improved maternal and child related health outcomes by reducing maternal and infant mortality rates. A wide range of initiatives include improvement in data utilised for planning and service delivery; recruiting, training and retaining skilled health professionals; and mobilising aids or funds from the government, private organisations and other donors. A number of government interventions introduced to improve maternal healthcare include repositioning training in family planning, reproductive and child health staff; implementation of free maternal and child health services; supporting operational safe motherhood task force; direct midwifery training to increase production of midwives; complementary strategy of High Impact Rapid Delivery (HIRD) approach implemented to reduce maternal and child mortality; Ghana VAST Survival Programme; Making Pregnancy Safer Initiative; Prevention of Maternal Mortality Programme (PMMP) and Safe-Motherhood Initiative; Prevention and Management of Safe Abortion Programme; Maternal and Neonatal Health Programme; Intermittent Preventive Treatment (IPT) and Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care (EmONC); and Roll Back Malaria Programme.
Maternal child survival program and services for malaria, HIV, nutrition and family planning in Ghana has improved maternal, newborn and child health outcomes. Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP) supported by the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Services prepares nurses and midwives to deliver high-quality care. These programs and initiatives have approved and standardized guidelines, training strategies and monitoring systems. The aim of such programs is to ensure implementation of best services and strengthening the healthcare system by reducing the spread of infections and diseases in Ghana through enhancement of Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) practices. Several efforts are made in Ghana to provide health insurance through National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to all citizens with strong emphasis on maternal and child health.
Public Health Online Course at JLI
James Lind Institute (JLI) provides an online program – Masters in Public Health which helps professionals address maternal and child health problems in Ghana. JLI also runs a post graduate diploma in maternal and child health which is eligible for a lateral entry to the Masters in Public Health from International Telematic University UNINETTUNO – Rome – Italy.
For more information please visit: www.jliedu.com