Ghana’s maternal mortality rate continues at an unacceptably high level. While maternal mortality figures vary widely by source and are highly controversial, the best estimates for Ghana and other parts of Africa suggest that roughly between 1,400 and 3,900 women and girls die each year due to pregnancy related complications
Over one hundred potential complications have been associated with induced abortion. “Minor” complications include: minor infections, bleeding, fevers, chronic abdominal pain, gastro-intestinal disturbances, vomiting, and Rh sensitization. The nine most common “major” complications which are infection, excessive bleeding, embolism, ripping or perforation of the uterus, anesthesia complications, convulsions, hemorrhage, cervical injury, and endotoxic shock
The cost implication and the difficulty in estimating the Maternal Mortality Ratio has lead to confusion over the correct rate for the country. There is a need for increasing the coverage of civil registration and good cause of death attribution. The alternative method of using the direct or indirect sisterhood household survey methods provide imprecise estimates on a reference point some years in the past. It is strongly suggested that all efforts must be put together to obtain a good estimate for the use of policy makers and service providers.
Maternal Mortality Rates in Ghana
Around the world, one mother dies every minute from pregnancy related complications. 50,000 to 100,000 new cases develop each year. (W.H.O) In many parts of Africa and Asia, 1 in 10 will die.(W.H.O)
Over 99 percent of those deaths occur in developing countries such as Ghana.
In most developing countries, access to health care services in rural areas is more limited than in urban areas. This issue is of particular significance for Ghana since 63 percent of its population lives in rural areas.
Line chart showing the differences between rural and urban access to health care services
Pregnant women may have to walk long distances in order to be attended to in remote villages in particular.
To reduce the high mortality rate, efforts are being made for skilled attendants to visit patients in remote villages.
Abortion complications: Maternal mortality is the second most common cause of death among women in Ghana, and more than one in 10 maternal deaths (11%) are the result of unsafe induced abortions. In addition, a substantial proportion of women who survive an unsafe abortion experience complications from the procedure. This suffering is all the more tragic because it is unnecessary: Many women likely turn to unsafe providers or do not obtain adequate post abortion care when it is needed because they are unaware that abortion is legal on fairly broad grounds in Ghana. Complications after abortion
High Cost of Care Up until the recent introduction of the National Health Insurance Scheme, most women could not afford to be seen by a specialist.
Donation made to the Tema General Hospital by a team from Empower Ghana on Mother’s day,2011.
The UN Millennium goals include two aims to be reached in relation to maternal healthcare by 2015: Reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio Reduce by two thirds the mortality rate among children under five
There is a need by all to join forces to achieve the Millennium Development Goal regarding maternal mortality rate for Ghana. Everybody has a role to play. Periodic upgrading of the skills of health professionals is vital. Appropriate legislations and policies must form the environment for safe pregnancy and delivery.