Sogakope,(V/R),Oct.19, GNA - Stakeholders on maternal mortality in the Volta Region met at Sogakope on Tuesday to discuss strategies to increase supervised deliveries to reduce pregnancy related deaths. The consultative workshop was organised at the instance of the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), which is supporting population, reproductive health, gender policies and programmes under its fifth country programme. Mr Makane Kane, UNFPA Representative in Ghana said UNFPA needed strategies and activities in the final programme document, for the period 2006-2010 to reflect local conditions.
He said "the programme should be acceptable to the people of the Volta Region who should identify the problems and propose the solutions."
Participants at the workshop included, District Directors of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Public Health Specialists, Journalists, social workers, Civil Servants, Population Analysts, Gender rights Campaigners and traditional leaders. Volta, Central, Northern, Upper East and West regions are the broad focal locations of the programme while the specific districts would be determined at the regional consultation workshop.
Mr Kane said the programme being undertaken in collaboration with the Government would help in the attainment of goals under the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) II.
He said the UNFPA "supports countries like Ghana in using population data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty and ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/AIDS and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect."
Miss Ellen Alai, Volta Regional Head of the National Council on Women and Development (NCWD) said about 71 per cent of women in the region could either not afford cost of antennal care or were ignorant of its benefits.
Mr George Agbotse, Deputy Volta Regional Population Officer complained about difficulty in retrieving statistics on the districts from the Ghana Statistical Service. Mr Joseph Kwaku Nayan, Deputy Volta Regional Minister, said the region would not abuse the opportunity to tackle poverty. He therefore, called on the participants to tackle causes of high school drop out among girls and outmoded customs in the region.