Four high priority areas to achieve MDG Five

The Ministry of Health (MoH), Agencies and Development Partners, have targeted four high priority areas to contribute to the attainment of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Five, by the 2015 deadline under its Ghana Millennium Accelerated Framework (MAF).

The areas are Training, Procurement, Service Delivery and Governance.

Dr Emmanuel Odame, MDG Accelerating Co-ordinator of the MoH, made this known to the Ghana News Agency after a three day meeting held in Accra by officials of MoH, the Ghana Health Service, Christian Health Services of Ghana, and Teaching Hospitals, to discuss the re-prioritization of some areas considered critical to the attainment of the MGD Five, which calls for reduction of maternal mortality rate by 2015.

He explained that the decision to re-prioritise was because there had been a slow progress in meeting MDG Five, and there was the need to get a sharp focus next year, and look for resources to achieve the goals.

He said MDG acceleration framework was agreed upon in 2010 to be implemented by government and its development partners, to help Ghana achieve its goals in terms of curbing maternal mortality.

Dr Odame said this was because there has been slow progress in achieving the goal, which led to the declaration of MMR as a national emergency in 2008.

He said, the meeting was therefore, for planning and budgeting by all government sectors, to come out with concrete, realistic and achievable plans and areas that would be accepted by sponsors and development partners.

According to the first draft document on 2015 strategy and operational plan for GMAF, investments have fallen short of putting the country on track to reach the 75 per cent reduction of the maternal mortality rate required by MDG Five.

It said the latest estimate by the Maternal Mortality Estimates Inter-Agency, the MMR in Ghana was 380 per 100,000 live births last year, if it continued to reduce at the current pace by 2015, MMR would only reach 358 per 100,000 live births, which was higher than the MDG Five goal of 190 maternal deaths per 100,000live births.

The document noted that in this scenario, Ghana would attain its 2015 MDG target in 2037, adding that MAF was not aimed at replacing exiting policies or programmes, rather it was meant to build on and complement existing initiatives, to accelerate the country progress against MDG Five by 2015.

MAF is being implemented with all resources available for realizing maternal and child health in Ghana, including 52 million Euros committed by the EU, as well as the assistance provided to strengthen maternal and neonatal health by bilateral and multilateral agencies, such as DFID, DANIDA, USAID, UNFPA, UNICEF, World Bank and others.

Dr Daniel Asare, Chief Executive Officer of the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, told the GNA that the hospital plans to train 20 doctors in caesarian session next year, adding, however, that funding has been a major problem this year, and expected that 2015 should be better.

He said the hospital depends on its internally-generated funds and releases from the Controller and Accountant-General . GNA

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