TO further accelerate efforts in the country to improve maternal health care and reduce childhood killer diseases, another National Integrated campaign has been launched in Accra.
The campaign will focus not only on children below five years but also on breast-feeding mothers who have given birth within the past eight weeks.
The services to be provided include: Polio vaccine for children from birth to five years, vitamin A supplementation for children between the ages of six months and five years, deworming for children from two to five years and vitamin A supplementation for women within eight weeks after delivery.
The Maternal and Child Health Campaign is on the theme: “Healthy Mothers and Children make a Better Ghana”.
Launching it, the Deputy Minister of Health, Gladys Ashitey said for the country to reduce maternal mortality and childhood diseases, its health workers must implement known and tested interventions.
She explained known and tested interventions to included polio immunisation, food supplementation and prevention against endemic disease's such as malaria.
“It is important for us as a nation to realise that even though we have and continue to invest in recamping our health systems, we still have a long way to go to make it respond to the needs of every family living in Ghana”, Mrs Ashitey said.
She noted that campaigns such as maternal and child health, only serve to overcome some of the inherent challenges and obstacles that make it difficult for health personnel to reach out to those who for one reason or the other are not able to take up services within the routine system.
“It is for this reason that the Ministry of Health views these annual campaigns as key strategies for improving access to basic health services”, Mrs Ashitey stated.
The Deputy Minister called on Ghanaians to collectively involve themselves in the fight against childhood diseases and maternal mortality, saying “the task of reducing deaths among children and pregnant women is not limited to health workers alone but to all of us”.
“It is important for us to see these campaigns not as events but a well thought out process of increasing access and improving our chances of meeting the MDGs come 2015”, she said.
Dr Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF representative to Ghana, observed that inadequate access to basic health services continues to pose challenges to the survival of the Ghanaian mother and child.
According to her, recent estimates suggested a stagnating trend of under-five mortality rate and a deteriorating maternal mortality ratio.
She said the campaign forms part of effort to complement the existing strategies towards the achievement of Millennium Development Goal four and five (MDG4&5).