The Maternal Health Survey 2017 indicated that mortality rates for children under five-years-old declined to 52 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2017 compared with 155 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1988.
Presenting the report, Peter Takyi Peprah, Head of Field Operations and Coordinator for the Maternal Health Survey at GSS, noted the improvements in the indicators had been significant. He expresses hope that if measures put in place by health authorities to eradicate these challenges were implemented efficiently, the cases would drop further to negligible limits.
“Neonatal mortality (infant death during the first 28 days after live birth), which climbed back to the 1988 level of 77 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2003 has receded to 25 deaths per 1,000 live births by 2017, while Infant mortality (deaths of children under one year) also dropped to 25 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2017 relative to the 43 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1988,” Peprah added.
Nearly eight in 10 deliveries or 79 percent occurred in health facilities within five years preceding the survey compared with the 54 percent recorded in 2007, as nearly all women (98 percent) received antenatal care from skilled providers.
“Ghana has excelled in taking action to bring down the under-five mortality rate, and as a result has seen a progressive reduction in deaths from 155 to 60 per 1,000 live births between 1990 and 2014”, Peprah said.
“Though this did not quite reach the MDG-4 target of 40 deaths per 1,000 live births, it represents an overall reduction of under-five mortality of 58percent over the period,” the United Nations remarked about the West African country at the end of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) implementation period in 2015,.
The UN, however, faulted Ghana for not doing enough to reduce maternal mortality as the phenomenon had fallen to 360 per 100,000 live births in 2013 from 760 to 100,000 live births in 1990 against a target of 190 deaths per 100,000 live births which the country missed by the end of 2015.
The increase in antenatal and post-natal care, awareness of the need to attend both antenatal and post-natal care and the reduction in the fertility rate of women were some of the improvements the preliminary report brought out.
The survey which took place between June 2017 and October 2017 had 27,001 households selected with 26,324 successfully interviewed yielding 99 percent response.
The country’s 40-year development plan currently being developed by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) paid much attention of eradicating Maternal Mortality or at least reducing it to the barest minimum.