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The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has called on the country's health institutions to introduce innovative means to improve on reproductive health in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) four and five.

MDG four and five aims at reducing child and maternal mortality.

Dr Frank Nyonator, Acting Director General of the GHS who made the call on Wednesday in Takoradi noted that, to attain the MDGs "it is very obvious now that we (Ghana) need to do things differently".

He was speaking at the fourth, three-day conference on the Promise Maternal Infant Survival Excellence (PROMISE) organised by the Western Regional Health Directorate for its key health personnel in the region.

The conference is aimed at assessing the performance of the PROMISE Initiative, which was introduced in 2008 to help reduce maternal death and improve skilled delivery as well as the adoption of new strategies to chalk out more medical successes.

The conference is being held on the theme: “Supporting the mother to give life; a concern for all."

Dr Nyonator said although Ghana is on the track to achieve most of the MDGs by 2015 "it appears unlikely that it will be able to achieve the three main health related goals, especially those on four and five".

He commended the Regional Health Directorate for the PROMISE Initiative as it has "attracted the attention of senior managers of the health service".

It has been proven that the PROMISE method has helped to reduce maternal mortality and improved foetal outcomes to the barest minimum.

Data shows that skilled delivery improved from 42.6 per cent in 2009 to 54.2 per cent in 2011 while still birth rate also reduced from 2.4 per cent in 2009 to 1.7 per cent in the same year.

The PROMISE method involves door to door education, community meetings and drama among others on maternal health care.

Dr Nyonator said following the success of the PROMISE method, the GHS would review the process and implement it to see how applicable throughout the country.

He said judging from the results so far achieved in the region, "it is becoming clear that given the right interventions with adequate funding it would be possible for us to move closer to achieving the MDGs four and five targets".

Dr Nyonator however, advised against complacency and admonished the personnel to adopt positive attitude towards their work and clients, reminding them that people were now aware of their rights and would take action if their rights are trampled upon.

"Let me remind you that people are now aware of their rights as such we cannot treat them anyhow and get away with it, so use the available protocols and guidelines appropriately to ensure that you practice professionally at all times and refer promptly when you have to do so."

Dr Mrs Linda Vanotoo, Regional Health Director explained that, following the high still births, which was more than 1,200 and maternal death recorded annually, the Directorate introduced the PROMISE.

This approach, she said, has yielded success to reduce the still births and maternal deaths and increased skill delivery among other interventions.

Interestingly, Dr Vanotoo noted that men in the region have joined the crusade by accompanying their wives and relatives to ante and post natal clinics and also sending their sick children to the hospitals.

She said it is unfortunate that child birth that should bring joy to the home has rather become a journey of uncertainties for the pregnant women, unborn child and the family because they cannot be sure of the outcome until the end is seen.
Source: Ghanaweb.com

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