Friday, July 1 2022

Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman-Manu has called for closer collaboration between health institutions in West Africa to promote research and information sharing to help reduce newborn deaths, of mothers and adolescents in the sub-region.

For example, he said, only Cape Verde has achieved the sustainable development goal of 25 per 1,000 live births.

Mr. Agyeman-Manu made the call at the opening of a two-day international workshop in Accra yesterday.

The workshop was to discuss measures and strategies to promote the health of children, women and adolescents in the sub-region.

The workshop, attended by 50 health experts and policy makers, is part of the project “Catalyzing leadership to improve women’s health outcomes in West Africa”.

It was funded by Canada’s International Development Research Center (IDRC) and implemented by West African health organizations and the Alliance for Reproductive Health and Women’s Rights, Media and Development. change and the Ghana Health Service (GHS).

The minister said available statistics from the 2017 Ghana Maternal Health Survey suggested that the maternal mortality rate in Ghana had fallen from 320 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 2015 to 310 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. alive in 2017.

He said that like the rest of the sub-region, despite significant and rapid progress, Ghana has also failed to meet its Millennium Development Goal 5 target of reducing maternal deaths to 190 deaths per 100,000. live births in 2015.

Mr Agyeman-Manu said that despite the failure, the ministry had implemented a “free maternal health policy” under the national health insurance scheme to expand access to maternal health services for women of childbearing age.

“We have also taken concrete steps to strengthen our Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) to maintain our current national immunization coverage rate of 99.4% to improve the health and well-being of all our newborns. , infants and children eligible for vaccination in Ghana,” he added.

Acting Minister of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, Ms. Cecilia Abena Dapaah, said that as the ministry mandated to ensure gender equality, they were committed to promoting well- being and child protection and empowering vulnerable people in society.

She said the ministry had developed a five-year national policy on gender equality which aimed to mainstream gender equality issues into the national development process.

“The policy document is currently under review and updating, nevertheless, stakeholders are expected to take strategic policy actions in line with the overall national policy to address bottlenecks and obstacles as well as issues criticism in various sectors regarding inequality,” she said.

She added that as part of the Government’s efforts to ensure a coordinated response to teenage pregnancy in Ghana, the ministry had also developed a five-year strategic plan to address teenage pregnancy in Ghana, as well as a strategic implementation plan, which was periodically evaluated. by stakeholders to identify areas where interventions need to be strengthened or modified.

The Chief Executive of West African Health Organizations, Professor Stanley Okolo, said in his address that the conference would help provide evidence for planning and decision-making.

He also said the program would provide a platform for knowledge sharing on health issues in the sub-region.

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