Ghana may miss achieving the Millennium Development Goal target of reducing Maternal Mortality rate to 185 to 100,000 live births by 2015, a report of the Special Committee of Parliament on Poverty Reduction Strategy has revealed.
Currently the institutional maternal mortality rate declined only from 170 per 1,000 live births in 2009 to 164 per 1,000 in 2010.
The report of the Special Committee on the implementation of the Ghana Shared Growth and Development (GSGDA) which was adopted by Parliament today stated that notwithstanding this the overall performance of the health sector continued to show positive and improved performance.
The report said for instance that outpatient attendance continued to increase with supervised deliveries increasing from 45.6 per cent in 2009 to 48.2 per cent in 2010,
Additionally the nurse to population ratio improved marginally from 1; 1,537 in 2009 to 1; 1,510 in 2010 while the doctor to population ratio improved from1; 11.929 in 2009 to 1;10,423
The report stated that even though there has been progress in the health sector reduction in the maternal mortality rate will be around 340 per 1000,000 by 2015 which falls short of the MDG target of 185 per 1000,000 live births.
The Special Committee also noted that notwithstanding the modest achievements some services witnessed declined in performance such as immunization coverage which dropped from from 89.3 per cent in 2009 to 84.9 per cent in 2010 and the coverage of pregnant women who received one or more antenatal care visits also dropped from 92.1 per cent in 2009 to 90.6 per cent in2o1o
The special Committee report also observed the huge disparities in the deliveries assisted by health professionals between women in urban and those in the rural areas within the regions.
The Report for instance stated that only 25 per cent of deliveries were assisted by health professional in the Northern Region as compared with 80 per cent in the Greater Accra Region
Mr Imoro Yakubu Chairman of the Special Committee in moving the motion for the adoption of the report said the National Development Planning Commission and the National Commission for Civic Education be adequately resourced to get Ghanaians to well informed of the direction of the national development agenda.
Mr Yakubu explained that the committee was of the view that it was only when the citizens were well informed of the national aspiration and direction of the country that they would be more supportive of the roadmap to achieving the goals.
Dr Osei Akoto said transparency and accountable governance play major role in poverty reduction but the committee did not devote much attention to that area apart from stating that Ghana received a high commendation about good governance at the eighth summit of African Peer Review Mechanism Forum at Addis ABABA IN January 2008 which he said was not enough and urged the committee to offer suggestion as how to improve good governance as prerequisite for poverty reduction in the country.
The Committee examined seven thematic areas of the economic which included ensuring and sustaining macroeconomic stability, enhanced competitiveness of the private sector, accelerated agricultural modernization and natural resource management, Oil and Gas Development as well as transparent and Accountable Governance.
Source: Daily Graphic