Upper West stakeholders discuss challenges facing free maternal health care under NHIS

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Stakeholders of the Free Maternal Health Care policy in the Upper West Region have met to deliberate on strategies and solutions to challenges that confront its implementation under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

The meeting which was organized on Thursday by SEND Ghana, an NGO, had NHIS Scheme managers, representatives of health facilities, maternity clinics and some pregnant women attending.

Mr Adamu Munkaila, Upper West Regional Programme Manager of SEND Ghana, said the country had made significant progress towards the reduction of infant and under five mortality as well as maternal mortality.

Between 1990 and 2005, he said, maternal mortality declined from 740 per 100.000 live births to 503 deaths per 100,000 live births and went down further to 451 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2008.

He said despite remarkable achievements like increased attendance at ante natal and post natal clinics as well as delivery at health facilities and clinics in the country there were still challenges that needed to be addressed to sustain the gains.

Mr Munkaila said the meeting was not intended to find faults with any actor in the implementation process but rather to find common issues that needed to be addressed to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the programme

Mr Rashid Mohammed Tindogo, Regional Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of the NHIS, said good maternal health care was at the core of the survival of every human being hence the need for all pregnant women to register with the NHIS.

He said pregnant women were often asked by nurses and midwives to bring items like soap and other toiletries to their points of delivery and wondered what the Schemes were paying for if such items were demanded from poor pregnant mothers.

“Free maternal care should not only be about the elimination of financial barriers but also the reception given and the attitude of hospital staff to pregnant mothers are equally important” he said. GNA

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