Ending maternal mortality
Ending maternal mortality

Ending maternal mortality

The joy of every family, especially mothers, is that after nine months of the ordeal of pregnancy and pain of delivery during labour their effort will be rewarded with the babies they give birth to.


This is because babies are a joy to every family, especially mothers who carry the pregnancy. Unfortunately, some women do not live to see this happen. They lose their lives during the pregnancy, during the delivery or up to 42 days after  delivery. 

Maternal mortality is the most painful thing to hit any family and as a country we shouldn't  be recording such cases, not even in their lowest numbers, especially because most of the causes are preventable. The publication in the Daily Graphic of March 27, 2004, that the Northern Region has recorded an upsurge in maternal mortality can therefore not be a pleasant news.

The story stated that maternal mortality in the region had risen from 69 cases in 2022 to 100 in 2023. It explained that this had brought institutional maternal mortality rate to 136.7 per 100,000 live births in 2023 compared to 94.5 per 100,000 live births for the year 2022, with the national average being 125 per 100,000 live births.

It is worthy of note that  most of the causes attributed to the rise of  the phenomenon in the region are  similar to the reasons given for the national situation, which include inadequate logistics, infrastructure and doctors; poor access to healthcare services and lack of skilled birth attendants. Haemorrhage,  infection, unsafe abortion and hypertensive disorders have also been identified as causes of maternal mortality in the country.

The Daily Graphic is of the view that addressing the problems is key to reducing and ultimately ending maternal mortality in the country. As a country, we must deliberately ensure that we extend healthcare facilities to the doorsteps of pregnant women, especially those in rural areas. It is a known fact that many rural pregnant women have to travel far in order to attend antenatal clinics not only because of the absence of such facilities in some areas but also because even where antenatal clinics are available they may not be well equipped.

Sometimes some rural pregnant women travel long distances to other health facilities to get ordinary services such as a scan because it is unavailable at their initial health facility. Another challenge compounding this situation is the lack of transportation, a situation which results in heavily pregnant women having to sit on bicycles and tricycles to clinics. There is also the socio-economic angle, where some pregnant women do not even have money for food, let alone to have some to take to antenatal clinics. According to the recent National Demographic and Health Survey, 22 per cent of the country's pregnant population used for the study are unable to access health care due to unavailability of antenatal clinics.

We suggest the setting up of special antenatal clinics, if even temporarily, where district health directorates identify a particular rural community of having a lot of pregnant women who have to travel long distances to other communities for antenatal care.  

The Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service must also train more birth attendants, while they equip traditional birth attendants with skills to do deliveries in the rural areas, especially in the Northern Region. 

Pregnant women should also be educated and encouraged to attend antenatal clinics so that any unusual development with the pregnancy can be detected early to save the pregnant woman.

Surely, confronting maternal mortality is not beyond us as a country, and we must put in the right measures to deal with it to reduce the numbers, especially in the Northern Region.

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