Ghana, as a signatory to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is expected by the international community to contribute to the reduction of the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030.
Also, Ghana is expected to contribute to the realization of target 2 of SDG 3 which aims at “reducing neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1, 000 live births and under-five mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1, 000 live births”.
In spite of this hefty task, the government of Ghana seemed to be slacking in the provision of access to quality maternal health care services, while access to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in some communities in the country was a privilege rather than a right.
Pregnant women in some communities in the Upper West Region had to tread for hours before they can get access to Maternal Health Care while in communities where these services are rendered, the quality of the services was questionable.
Notable among these communities were the Kperisi, Jonga and Guli communities, in the Wa Municipality where maternal health care services delivery were none existent are poor.
In an interaction with some residents of Kperisi on Wednesday, it came to light that though the health facility in the community was equipped with about three midwives, it cannot boost of a maternity ward, delivery services were conducted in the Out Patients Department (OPD).
The practice could be described as vehemently unacceptable in healthcare delivery system since other health care services would have to come to a halt when pregnant women were seeking institutional delivery.
They also lamented that access to potable water at the health facility was a challenge and that it made the facility unfriendly as patients, particularly, pregnant women had to carry water from their houses to the facility any time they were to access institutional delivery.
This situation had become unbearable for the people and had compelled pregnant women to travel over 13 kilometers sometimes on a tricycle or motto bike to the Wa Regional Hospital to access institutional delivery.
The situation in the Guli community is not different as pregnant women had to travel for more than ten kilometers to the Wa Regional Hospital to access skilled delivery services.
A resident of the Guli community, Madam Yussif Freta lamented that she was charged to pay GHȻ200.00 for delivering on her way while traveling to the Wa Regional Hospital for skilled delivery, a situation which was no fault of hers.
In the Jonga community also in the Wa Municipal, Osman Ibrahim expressed grief that the lack of a skilled delivery service provider in the community was detrimental to the health of women and their unborn babies in that community.
He said pregnant women in the community could only access maternal health care service at the Regional Hospital located at the Regional Capital which was about 20 kilometers away from the community.
He bemoaned that pregnant women in labour sometimes deliver on their way the hospital which posed health challenge to both the woman and the unborn baby, since in some cases the woman loses her live and the baby during delivery.
In view of this, it is paramount for the government to ensure Universal Health Coverage in the country irrespective of once geographical location in order to put the country in the lime line of achieving the SGD and AU agenda 2063 targets of providing quality health care by the stipulated time frames.