Ghana makes gains in maternal health

The preliminary results of the 2017 Ghana Maternal Health Survey (GMHS) has revealed that the country is making gains in maternal health.

The data for the survey was collected from a national representative sample of more than 25,000 women, age 15 to 49 years, which shows that nearly eight of 10 women, representing 79 percent of deliveries, occurred in a health facility, an increase from 54 percent in the 2007 GMHS.

The result further indicates that health facility deliveries vary by region, form 59 percent in the Northern Region to 92 percent in Greater Accra.

Nearly 98 percent of women received antenatal care from a skilled provider.

The proportion of women making four or more antenatal care visits has increased from 77 percent in 2007 to 89 percent in 2017.

The survey shows that fertility continues to decrease.

Currently, women have an average of 3.9 children, a decrease from 4.6 percent per woman in 2007.

One in four married women uses a modern method of family planning, where the most popular methods include injectable, representing 8 percent, and implants, 7 percent.

The survey is the second of the maternal health survey conducted in Ghana on the Demographic Health Survey (DHS) Programme.

The 2017 GMHS was implemented by the Ghana Statistical Service and the Ghana Health Service from June through to October last year.

It was also conducted to assess performance in reducing maternal mortality in the country, to identify specific causes of maternal and non-maternal deaths due to abortion related causes among adult woman.

By Joshua W. Amlanu