Maternal Deaths

The Ambassador of Denmark, Ms Tove Degnbol, has expressed her frustration at the high maternal and child mortality recorded in the country in spite of the investments made over the years.

“I do not want to hide the fact that we have sometimes been very frustrated when we had to struggle to have our funds channeled out to the regional and district level to be spent on essential equipment for the health staff.

It has been unbearable to see the rate of maternal mortality increasing in areas where we and other development partners had targeted our support,’’ she said.

Though maternal health care has improved over the past 20 years, the pace has been slow and extra effort is required for Ghana to achieve the MDG 5 target of reducing maternal mortality rate by three quarters by 2015.

Institutional maternal mortality rate has reduced from 216 per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 164 per 100,000 live births in 2010 with a distance of 110 to target of 54 per 100,000 in 2015.

Last year, 2016, 955 maternal deaths were recorded, with Greater Accra Region topping the list with 197

Ms Degnbol was speaking at the launch of a “Safe Delivery App,” which is a technology learning application tool designed to empower skilled birth attendants to provide safer delivery services.

The new application, which can easily be downloaded free of charge from Google Play and at App Store using smartphones and other technological gadgets, also works offline once copied, and can currently be found in the English and French languages.

Ms Degnbol said much more could be achieved to save lives when the bottlenecks in the financial management were addressed.

“During the more than two decades of our support, the maternal mortality rate was halved. This is a significant achievement, but the rate is still terribly high, and every single life of a woman that could have been spared is a tragedy for the family, for the newborn and motherless child, and for the society at large,’’ she said.

She commended the UNFPA for partnering with the Maternity Foundation for the App, which would help reach the remotest areas.

Ms Anna Frellsen, the Chief Executive of the Maternity Foundation, said Ghana was a high priority country for the “Safe Delivery App,” given the need for improvement in basic emergency obstetric and neonatal care, and the expressed interest of the implementing partners.