The African Center for Women in Politics (ACWP) has called on government to put in much effort to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates in Ghana.
Commemorating this years’ Mother’s Day, ACWP in a statement indicated that although the maternal and infant mortality rate has declined over the past 17 years, Ghana has still not met the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) objective.
“Even though maternal mortality has declined from 2000 – 2017 by 38% that is from 342 deaths to 211 deaths per 100,000 live births according to the UN inter-agency; this translates into an average annual rate of reduction of 2.9% and it is less than half the 6.4% annual rate needed to achieve the Sustainable Development global goal of 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.
“These figures are not encouraging therefore requiring the need for government to do more through the Ministry of Health.”
The Policy think tank is, therefore, urging government to build more Community Health-based Planning Service (CHPS) at the local level to make healthcare accessible to all mothers.
Adding that these CHPs compounds have to be fully equipped with medication and working tools so that pregnant women could be effectively attended to in the villages.
“Our mothers should also be encouraged to attend “antenatal’ during pregnancies.”
Read the full statement below:
African Center for Women in Politics (ACWP)
Mother’s Day Message: Government Effort on Reducing Maternal and Infant Mortality Not Encouraging
As we mark today as Mother’s Day, it is worth celebrating the role of our most amazing mothers across the globe in shaping our lives.
It is also a perfect opportunity to celebrate how far women’s rights have come and to support the need to keep fighting for more equality and equity around the world since mother’s rights are women’s right.
In celebrating this day, we remember our mothers in marriages, our single mothers, our divorced mothers, our widows and above all our aged mothers. The role of our Mother’s is one that cannot be underestimated. The stand the biggest gamble in the world, they are like glue.
Even when we cannot see them, they are still holding our families together. They taught us good guiding principles which include acceptance, tolerance, bravery, compassion in a most challenging world.
Mother’s contribution towards decent family and society building is one that cannot be underestimated. It also clear that women are confronted with various challenges such as maternal mortality, economic difficulties, poor education, infant mortality, domestic violence, among others.
On this occasion, as we celebrate our mothers, it is also important to amplify these challenges to inform policy direction especially as it has been established that female-headed households are on the increase.
One of the major issues that confront our mothers is maternal mortality even though maternal mortality has declined from 2000 – 2017 by 38% – from 342 deaths to 211 deaths per 100,000 live births according to the UN inter-agency estimates. This translates into an average annual rate of reduction of 2.9%. This is less than half the 6.4% annual rate needed to achieve the Sustainable Development global goal of 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.
These figures are not encouraging therefore requiring the need for government to do more through the Ministry of Health.
Similar to Maternal mortality is infant mortality which according to the UN has declined. However, the records show that we have a lot more to do to achieve greater results in this area.
Government’s attention is required as a matter of urgency in the following areas:
1. Government should promptly resource the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) to be able to deal effectively with domestic violence especially violence against our mothers. Research has shown that 33.6% of married women experience domestic violence which calls for concern.
2. The government needs to build more Community Health-based Planning Service (CHPS) at the local level to make healthcare accessible to our mothers. Existing CHPS needs to be fully equipped with the medication and working tools so that pregnant women could be effectively attended to in the villages. Information on safe practices during pregnancy should also be made accessible. Our mothers should also be encouraged to attend “antenatal’ during pregnancies.
3. Since female-headed household are on the increase, the government should make available loans for small-scale businesses belonging to women to enable them provide for their families.
While efforts are persistently geared at addressing the challenges our mothers face, it is important to celebrate extraordinary performances of women across the globe who have broken the glass ceiling, inspired, struggled, uplifted and survived through the storm. As said by Hillary Clinton “human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights once and for all.” All countries including Ghana must do well to amplify women rights.
Eunice Yogri (PhD)
Head, Gender and Policy
Deputy Head, Gender and Policy