Christabel Addo/Thelma Abbey, GNA
Accra, June 6, GNA – The Ghana Health Service (GHS) would organise its first National Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition (MCHN) Conference in Accra from June 12 to 14, 2018.
The Conference, which would be on the theme: “Strengthening Partnership for Achieving Universal Health Coverage in Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health and Nutrition”, is expected to provide a platform to update health sector players on the progress of implementation of programmes that addresses maternal, child health and nutrition issues.
Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, in a presentation at the media launch of the MCHN in Accra on Wednesday, said the conference, would show case best practices and share new knowledge on policies and innovations.
It would also focus on reviewing and discussing key issues related to strengthening the implementation of on-going and routine interventions, and provide the basis for discussions with partners to identify areas where each partner could best contribute to advancing the common agenda.
He said available evidence showed that although there had been a steady decline in maternal, infant and child mortalities, and the prevalence of severe manifestations of nutritional deficiencies, the pace had been slow.
Dr Nsiah Asare said this has been attributed to the fact that there were still very wide socio economic and geographic disparities, which, contributed to the country’s inability to meet a number of the Millennium Development Goal targets.
“Coverage of key outcome indicators: skilled delivery, exclusive breastfeeding, anaemia in pregnancy, institutional maternal and neonatal mortality as well as family planning have seen some progress.
However, wide regional and district disparities exist, which he indicated would need to be addressed to reduce inequities for accelerated progress”, he explained.
He further explained that the likely contributors to these trends included social inequities, disparities in health systems, between and within regions and districts, as well as consequences of urbanization and demographic transition.
He said it was well known that reproductive, and child health and nutrition were core priorities for any country, and the effective management of proven interventions and programmes would undoubtedly contribute to drastic and sustained reduction in the prevailing burden of maternal, new born and child deaths.
In line with actions to bridge the inequity gaps in access towards the achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), and ultimately contribute to reaching the health targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS), the GHS through its Family Health Division was working with key health partners to hasten the pace of reducing the current burden, he said.
“The aim is to go beyond improving access and coverage of interventions to improve efficiency and quality in maternal, newborn and childhood service delivery and address regional disparities”, he said.
Dr Nsiah Asare said this however required improving coverage of priority interventions to reach the unreached, and the content and quality of existing interventions to optimal levels.
The Director-General said the theme for the conference was hence one that would ensure survival, thriving and transformation, by collectively concentrating efforts on building the momentum to provide the needed care to reach Every Woman, Every Child and Every Adolescent.
This means no woman, child or adolescent should face a greater risk of preventable death because of where they live or who they are.