The Ghana Health Service (GHS) will in March, this year, conduct an Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care Survey (EMONC) to ascertain the interventions needed for excellent maternal and newborn care delivery.
This has become necessary to ensure that the Service targets its interventions properly to enable it to considerably reduce maternal and neonatal deaths.
In 2019, for instance, public health facilities across the country recorded a total of 5,556 neonatal (from 1 day to 4 weeks) deaths with 838 maternal deaths out of an estimated 722,478 births.
Similarly, data available at the GHS indicated that about 7,021 children lost their lives before age five in 2019.
Dr Isabella Sagoe-Moses, the Head of Reproductive and Child Health Department, GHS, said the rate of decline in maternal and neonatal deaths was not up to expectation due to the current state of health facilities, which were not able to provide efficient and quality care.
She told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra on Monday that: “If we are looking at attaining the SDG-3, the progress we are making now may not help us hence the need for us to accelerate our efforts”.
The SDG-3 enjoins countries to, by 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births and end preventable deaths of newborns and children under five years of age.
Dr Sagoe-Moses said the EMONC Survey was last conducted in 2010 and this year’s survey would find out if the country had the required human resources, skilled personnel, equipment, infrastructure, and medical supplies to attend to patients.
She stated that the Service would also utilise the current newborn strategy to improve their level of care, especially the sick, and how to help them survive.
“We will also look at prematurity, infections and other things that cause their sickness and check the availability of medical materials,” she added.
She said the GHS was looking at changing its strategy of in-service training to ensure health workers got more practical training on-site and online.
The Service had chalked successes with high antenatal attendance in all parts of the country with wide immunisation coverage, she said.
Dr Sagoe-Moses encouraged pregnant women and mothers to seek care promptly and adhere to the advice given by health workers.
“It is very important for every family to know the danger signs of pregnancy and newborns and look out for them, this is the surest way to reducing maternal and neonatal deaths.”
She called on all sectors to deliver on their mandates to ensure Ghana attained the SDGs.