The society of obstetricians and gynecologists of Ghana on Friday held its annual general meeting on the theme: “Achieving the Millennium Development Goals 5”
The theme implied reducing maternal mortality by seventy five by the year 2015.
Addressing members of the society, the First Lady, Mrs. Ernestina Naadu Mills stated that maternal mortality was the second highest cause of death in women aged between 15 and 49 years and more than 10,000 of such deaths had been documented in the last decade.
Mrs. Mills said that the millennium development goals were global targets that were set at the turn of the 21st century as an intention of the international community to work towards the alleviation of poverty and its related consequences on the regions of the world.
She mentioned that it was noted in the 20th century that development indicators, especially for the Asian and African continents were far below the standard that could propel them towards the attainment of optimal quality of life.
Three out of the eight goals set were direct health targets, with two of millennium development goals, focusing on the health of women and children, she said.
Mrs. Mills noted that recent global assessment of these indicators for the disproportion affected regions of the world showed some improvement, especially for child health, with maternal mortality showing on the average, slight improvement in very few countries and for most countries no change or even being worse off.
“The finding from this global assessment seems to have placed a verdict of uncertainty as to the ability of Sub-Saharan Africa including Ghana to achieve the MDG 5 by the set year of 2015,” she said.
She stated that result of the 2008 Ghana demographic and health survey appeared to give to ray of hope, in that where as under – 5 mortality has markedly reduced to 80 per 1000 live births from 111 per 1000 live births for the previous survey of 2003, the same level of accelerated reduction cannot be said for maternal mortality.
She said maternal mortality had reduced from 740 in the 1990’s to 451 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 2007.
“The problem was not only with the death but the injuries occurring from badly managed deliveries which are also leading obstetric fistulae,” she mentioned.
The First Lady stressed that the story behind the often poor statistics of maternal and newborn health for especially the rural dwellers was pathetic.
She added that repeated child bearing due to lack of understanding or sometimes even fear associated with contraception made many women susceptible to complication of pregnancy and childbirth which could eventually lead to death or injury.
The President of the SOGOG, Prof. Yaw Kwawu Kume said to overcome the challenges of the 5th Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) SOGOG must be more proactive towards the needs of women and children especially pregnant women.
He stated that, the death of the pregnant woman starts from the negative believes about pregnant women in our society followed by difficulties in transporting these pregnant women to hospitals.
“Unfortunately, on reaching the hospital the hospitals administrators and health workers compound the problem because we do not provide for our needs,” he noted.
Mr. Kwawu Kume expressed worry about how pregnant women in Ghana and Sub-region die during pregnancy or during delivery.
He urged Ghanaians to support SOGOG in preventing the death of pregnant women.
In a speech read on behave of the Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs, Mrs. Juliana Azumah Mensah stated that, the free maternity care policy of the nation needs to be strengthened country wide to ensure that poor and needy women who need it most access the service timely.
She added that the need for Ghanaian women to give birth and nature health babies, and hence healthy future mothers cannot be overemphasized.
She mentioned that, equal opportunities for boys and girls for education and training will ensure the success of mothers at accessing good quality maternity care at negotiating their delivery terms.
She said the goal required cooperation among the stakeholders to ensure that pregnant women deliver safely.
He noted that girl child should be kept in schools to help protect them against teenage pregnancy and its consequences.
A representative from the Ministry of health, Mr. Ebenezer Appiah Denkyira, said that much effort was not placed on the demand aspect of health delivery in the country.
He noted that the Ministry of Health was working hard to reduce the rate of maternal mortality.
Mr. Denkyira urged that husbands should help their pregnant wives by providing their needs and also taking them to the hospitals.
He also advised obstetricians to be much concerned about maternal mortality.