Although there is significant reduction in maternal and infant mortality in Ghana, the country cannot achieve its Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of 53 deaths per 1000 live births by 2015 if effective child survival and interventions are not increased.
This is because the maternal mortality rate, which stood at 451 per 100,000 live births in 2008, had not shown any significant reduction.
The Country Director of Plan Ghana, Mr Prem Shuka, made this known yesterday at the beginning of a five-day seminar jointly organised by his outfit and the Canadian Development Agency (CIDA) for directors and other senior officials of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), drawn the Volta and Eastern regions.
The districts are South Tongu, Hohoe and Kadjebi in the Volta Region and Lower Manya Krobo, Upper Manya Krobo and Akuapem South in the Eastern Region.
Quoting figures to support his claim, Mr Shuka said in 2003, infant mortality rate stood at 64 per 1000 live births, but reduced to 50, while neonatal mortality rate decreased from 43 per 1000 live births and then to 30 in 2008, of which newborn deaths between birth and 28 days of life now accounted for two-thirds of the deaths.
He said postpartum hemorrhage, hypertensive disease and unsafe abortion continue to be the leading causes of maternal deaths, accounting for 25 per cent, 20 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.
Mr Shuka said such a situation, therefore, called for more effective measures from all stakeholders to address the issue.
Giving details of what Plan Ghana was doing in that respect, he said the NGO, which is a child-centred community development organisation operating in 300 communities in 17 districts in the Central, Eastern, Volta and Upper West regions, was seeing to it that children had access to their rights to health, education, food security and protection.
He explained that its child health and development programmes were being implemented in collaboration with the district management teams of the Ghana Health Service.
That, Mr Shuka indicated, had improved the lot of children and expressed his appreciation to CIDA for its support in that respect.
He was hopeful that the participants would come out with measures to address the issues associated with infant and maternal deaths in the country.
Earlier in his welcoming address, the Eastern Regional Director of the GHS, Dr Erasmus Agongo, was happy that efforts being made by stakeholders to address the issues were yielding results and expressed his gratitude to Plan Ghana, especially its country director, for his personal commitment in helping to reduce infant and maternal deaths in the country.