The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has launched Zero Tolerance for Maternal deaths Campaign in the northern region. The campaign seeks to reduce considerably the spate of maternal mortalities across the country in line with achieving Goal 3 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Currently, Ghana’s maternal mortality ratio (MMR) stands at 308 per 100,000 live births which is way below the SDG target of less than 70 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030. The “Zero Tolerance for Maternal Deaths” campaign targets decreasing unintended pregnancies among women and girls through the provision of safe abortion and family planning (FP) services to reduce maternal deaths in the country.
Launching the campaign on the theme; “Stop Preventable Maternal Deaths and Disabilities,” an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH), Dr Hawa Malechi says, half of pregnancies recorded in Ghana annually are unintended often leading women and girls to resort to unsafe practices to terminate the fetuses, resulting in life-long complications and deaths sometimes.
She noted that, although abortion-related maternal deaths were highly preventable, issues of stigma among other social and economic factors discourage women from seeking safe techniques for terminating unintended pregnancies. The campaign is further seeking support for these unfortunate people to avail themselves to the best and safest techniques for terminating unwanted pregnancies to save their lives and for timely family planning to prevent further unintended pregnancies.
Meanwhile, the Northern Regional Resourced Person of Comprehensive Abortion Care (CAC), Mariam Ziblim has urged Health Professionals, Traditional Authorities, Opinion Leaders, religious groups and the general public to acquaint them with the law of abortion and to help to protect women from illegal and unsafe abortion.
Government has instituted a comprehensive abortion care policy to enable persons who want to abort unwanted pregnancies to have access to quality services to ensure a healthy nation. She made this known during the launch of Zero Tolerance for Maternal deaths campaign in Tamale.
According to her, many people are not aware of the law that covers some portions of abortion cases in the country. She mentioned the inadequate accessibility of safe abortion services, attitude of professionals, financial constraints among others are some of the barriers to abortion care in the country.