Ghana may not achieve goals four and five of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) due to the slow progress it is making in improving child and maternal health.
Between 1990 and 2011, the under-five mortality rate decreased by only 36 per cent.
That was insufficient to meet MDG 4, which requires that a decrease of 66 per cent has to be achieved in under-five mortality by 2015.
Under-five child mortality in the country reduced from 121 deaths in 1,000 births in 1990 to 78 deaths in 1,000 births in 2011.
Maternal mortality also decreased by 40 per cent between 1990 and 2010, showing some progress towards reaching MDG 5.
It improved by reducing from 580 deaths in every 1,000,000 births in 1990 to 350 deaths in every 1,000,000 births in 2010.
To help improve the situation, World Vision Ghana (WVG), a religious, child-focused and advocacy organisation, has initiated a national Child Health Now (CHN) campaign to intensify support for curbing child and maternal deaths.
The campaign, on the theme, “Child Health Now: Together we can end preventable deaths”, will run for five years.
It is part of a global World Vision campaign.
The National Director for WVG, Mr Hubert Charles, who briefed the media on the campaign in Accra yesterday, said the encounter was to provide a platform for deliberations on the key issues the campaign sought to address.
He said MDGs 4 and 5 could only be achieved by a drastic change through a conscious effort by all stakeholders.
He said the initiative was, therefore, to complement the government’s efforts at achieving a two-thirds reduction in child and maternal mortality figures by 2015 to meet MDGs 4 and 5.
Mr Charles said while in 2008 the rate of maternal mortality for the entire nation was 80 deaths in each 1,000 births, the Central, Northern and Upper West regions experienced higher rates of 108, 137 and 142 deaths in every 1,000 births, respectively.
He said that situation and the prevailing under-five child mortality rate made the need for stakeholders to collaborate to intensify the campaign even more critical.
The Coordinator for the CHN campaign, Mr Micah Ayo Olad, said the focus of the campaign was on the problem of ineffective health systems that did not respond to the needs of mothers and children.
He said it would also focus on inadequate funding for health and the lack of leadership to address maternal and child health nationally, among other issues.
Mr Olad said the CHN campaign would be piloted in six districts — Ejura, Sekyere East, Kintampo South, Nkwanta, Mpohor Wassa and Saboba — and later made a national programme.
Source: Daily Graphic/Ghana
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