This paper is an exploration of health sector and programming issues
that resulted from a description of safe motherhood activities in Ghana.
Descriptions of safe motherhood programmes were collected from various
stakeholders through structured interviews. The characteristics of the
programmes were compared to national safe motherhood aims and in the
context of the reproductive health and sector-wide environment in Ghana.
Thirteen safe motherhood programmes were described. Their goals were
wide ranging and did not necessarily target pregnant and postpartum
women only. Community based interventions were slightly less dominant
than service provision activities. A broad funding base was identified,
strongly represented by external donors. Many funding contributions were
not part of the Ghana government's Sector-Wide Approach (SWAp) to
Although reduction in maternal mortality ratio is a priority in
Ghana's policy, many funding agencies supporting what are known as
\"safe motherhood\" programmes are actually pursuing a somewhat broader
reproductive health agenda. The evidence that this situation has
actually led to a dilution of the maternal mortality reduction agenda is
inconclusive, although our analysis has resulted in lessons which could
be used to avert any risk to achieving this key millennium development
goal. Government can use the SWAp to keep interests focused on the need
for maternal mortality reduction, without detriment to other priorities.
Strengthening partnerships will allow civil society and community
focused interests to have a voice in influencing SWAp agendas. Good
programme design with clear understanding of the link between programme
components and objectives will help in making sure that maternal
mortality targets are indeed achieved.
Read the id21 Research Highlight: Reducing maternal mortality: is safe
motherhood prioritised in Ghana?
Okiwelu, T.; Hussein, J.; Adjei, S.; Arhinful, D.; Armar-Klemesu, M. Safe Motherhood in Ghana: Still on the Agenda? Health Policy (2007) 84 (2-3) 359-367. [DOI: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2007.05.012]
Safe Motherhood in Ghana: Still on the Agenda?