Kudos Ghana Health Service for improvement in infant, child mortalities
Kudos Ghana Health Service for improvement in infant, child mortalities

Kudos GHS for improvement in infant, child mortalities

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations call for a reduction in neonatal mortality to 12 or fewer deaths per 1,000 live births and a reduction in under-five mortality to 25 or fewer per 1,000 live births by 2030.


Infant mortality is the death of an infant before his or her first birthday. Infant mortality rate on the other hand is the number of infant deaths for every 1,000 live births. In addition to giving out key information about maternal and infant health, the infant mortality rate is an important marker of the overall health of a society.

It is the reason that the Daily Graphic is happy to know that the infant, under-five and neonatal mortality rates have reduced in the country.

It means that quality antenatal care, postnatal monitoring, breastfeeding support, postnatal family planning and good nutrition are some important aspects that the country through our heath care practitioners have focused on to bring about the feat that has been chalked up. 
Although infant mortality in the country has reduced from 41 out of every 1,000 live births in 2014 to 28, representing a 32 per cent reduction, and under five mortality has also reduced from 155 in 1988, to 40, with neonatal mortality also reducing from 29 per every 1000 live births in 2014 to 17, the  country is not yet at the level recommended by the SDGs. Ghana, therefore, is among countries that need to accelerate progress towards achieving the under-five and neonatal mortality targets 

In this vein, therefore, it is imperative that as a country we look at preterm birth, low birth weight, neonatal sepsis and other infections, birth asphyxia, congenital anomalies, neonatal jaundice and pneumonia that are frequent causes of infant mortality in Ghana.

There is no denying the fact that Ghana has made progress in making care more financially accessible through the implementation of programmes that have contributed to a reduction in infant and maternal mortalities. They include the implementation of the free maternal health care policy which mandates free health care coverage for antenatal visits, delivery, and postnatal and neo-natal care to women registered with the NHIS.

Also worthy of note are the Ghana Child Health Policy and the Child Health Strategy which focused on improving health care quality and accessibility, as well as prevention, and treatment of diseases affecting infants that have resulted in improved standards for managing diarrhoea and the availability of immunisation programmes which have led to increase in infant vaccination.

Further strides have also been made in addressing diseases affecting infants and children by the Ghana Essential Health Intervention Project and the Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) by increasing the distribution of services to rural areas.

But we recommend  priority attention to some barriers to care such as the out-of-pocket costs, as many women covered by the NHIS free maternal health care policy continue to pay for ultrasound and other laboratory services, drugs, supplies and items required for childbirth.

The issue of lack of funding for transport for births, birth emergencies or referral of a neonate to a better-resourced hospital for more skilled care must also be looked at.

We must also consciously address the issue of inadequate number and distribution of facilities, skilled birth attendants and neonatal specialists

Further to these, the country must train more skilled physicians, midwives and birth attendants who are in short supply and unevenly distributed throughout the country.

Policymakers must consider investments in health care infrastructure, including expanding public–private partnerships. 

We need our infants to grow to contribute thier quota to societal development, and everything must be done to keep them alive.

Connect With Us : 0242202447 | 0551484843 | 0266361755 | 059 199 7513 |

Like what you see?

Hit the buttons below to follow us, you won't regret it...