Upper West Regional Programme Officer of SEND-Ghana, Bashiru Mohammed Jumah, has urged pregnant women to visit health facilities to access ante-natal care (ANC) services.
He said attending ANC is the major means of reducing the rate of maternal mortality in Ghana and called on husbands to encourage, support and accompany their pregnant wives to the health facilities for the service.
Mr Jumah made the call when he addressed participants at a stakeholder’s dialogue meeting which focused on assessing the draft report of the ‘2016 Clients’ Satisfaction Survey Report’ and addressed maternal healthcare delivery challenges in Wa.
The report which centred on family planning, ante-natal care and post-natal care, as well as supervised delivery, is a subsidiary of SEND-Ghana’s ‘improving maternal health service delivery through participatory governance (improve) project’, started in 2014 and expected to end in 2017.
The survey was conducted in 30 districts in the three regions of the north and covered a sample size of 5,311 women who attended and received health delivery at some selected health facilities in the districts.
The programme officer stated that though Ghana had made significant improvement in reducing maternal mortality from 780 to 320 per 100,000 births between the periods of 1990 to 2015, much was still needed to be done to reduce the rate to the barest minimum.
“Although interventions such as the community-based health planning services (CHPS) and the free maternal health policy have contributed to the reduction of maternal deaths, there is still the need for much to be done in order to meet goal five of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he said.
He expressed regret about some findings of the report which indicated that “only 17 percent of the sample size met the four minimum requirements of ANC attendance throughout their pregnancy period, while the remaining 83 percent indicated that they attended ANC less than four times throughout their pregnancy period.”
He said the participants in the survey stated that they did not go for ANC due to the unfriendly attitudes of some health providers, high fees which they could not pay for, among other factors.
The participants at the forum observed that lack of passion for the job, lack of discipline at training institutions, and the ‘get rich quick’ attitude of some health personnel accounted for their unfriendly attitude and sometimes the alleged charging of illegal fees for service delivered.
They suggested that it was prudent for SEND-Ghana and other stakeholders to meet with heads of health training institutions to discuss with them the need to instil discipline in their students as well as establish client service centres at the district assemblies to garner report about irregularities at the health facilities.
SEND-Ghana organised the forum which was attended by representatives from district assemblies, district directors of health, among others.