The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has scaled up the effort to substantially reduce maternal deaths through increased supervised delivery.
This is being done together with the Population Council under what they are calling “Task sharing initiative”.
It involves training of selected community health nurses and enrolled nurses as midwife assistants to make up for the inadequate midwives across the districts and communities.
Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director of Family Health of the GHS, speaking at the launch of the initiative said they would be taken through a six-week intensive training programme in five district hospitals to efficiently supervise child delivery.
He said although Ghana had made significant progress by way of improvement of access to maternal healthcare over the last one-and-a-half decades, more could have been done.
Maternal mortality reduced from 760 per 100,000 live births in year 1990, to 319 per 100,000 live births in 2015, while 97 per cent of pregnant women now attend antenatal clinic at least once before delivery.
Dr. Kuma-Aboagye indicated that the situation could have been better if there were adequate midwives, especially in rural communities.
He described the initiative as a stopgap measure to shore up the number of midwives in the system to stop women, dying when giving birth to babies.
Dr. Ebenezer Appiah-Denkyira, Director General of GHS, underlined the vital role midwives played in the fight against maternal deaths and said deliberate efforts must be made to get more of them.
He spoke of the determination of the Service to find innovative ways to ensure maternal mortality became a thing of the past.
He said they were going to post midwives to the Community-based Health and Planning Services (CHPS) compounds to help prevent maternal deaths.
They were working hard to make sure that all the 6500 electoral areas had at least one CHPS compound to achieve that goal, he added.
Dr. Alexis Nang-Beifubah, the Ashanti Regional Director of Health, said the initiative would save the lives of mothers and their babies.
Dr. Placide Tapsoba, Country Director of the Population Council, commended Ghana for its innovative interventions in the health sector and pledged the Council’s support, to improve the health of the people.