Infant mortality on the rise as gov’t fails to deliver on promised polyclinics in 2017

Tracking government promises-Health

Institutional infant mortality per 1000 live births for the year 2017 has increased to 7.5 from 5.8 in 2016 as government failed to deliver on key promised capital investments in the health sector.

The government of Ghana in its effort to achieve equitable access to health care services promised to undertake certain capital investments in the health sector as stated in the 2017 Budget Statement.

These included construction of 10 Polyclinics at Bisease, Gomoa Dawurampong, Binpong, Egya, Ekumfi Nakwa, Etsii Sunkwa, Biriwa, Akunfude, Jamra Mankrong and Potsin; all in the Central Region.

iWatch Africa can confirm that these projects have commenced and are currently at various stages of completion, the overall progress stands 63%; meaning that it is very unlikely to be completed in 2017 as promised.

The promise to deliver five Polyclinics at Oduman, Sege, Bortianor, Ashaiman and Adenta all in the Greater Accra Region cannot be reached as well after our checks revealed that overall progress stood at 25% in November, 2017.

Read Also: Health: Areas GoG has promised capital expenditure [Infographic]

Though there may be several causes for the increased infant mortality rate in 2017, access to quality health care service will surely play a major role in mitigating this challenge.

UNICEF in a 2015 report indicated that, a newborn baby dies every 15 minutes in Ghana, contributing to 50% of all infants’ deaths.

Read Also: Health: Mid/third-quarter review of government’s commitment to build 7 district hospitals

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has promised to prioritize activities directed at reducing mortality, especially at the maternal and neonatal stage by increasing access to quality health services and improving efficiency in governance and management of the health system in 2018.

The government also promised in the 2018 Budget Statement to continue work on all uncompleted health projects across the country.

Report by Gideon Sarpong | iWatch Africa

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Gideon Sarpong

2017 Thomson Reuters Foundation Fellow: Gideon Sarpong (G. K. Sarpong) is a media practitioner with over six years of experience in content development and management, data and investigative journalism, policy analysis, production and e-commerce strategizing. Gideon is currently Director of Policy and News Content at iWatch Africa. He is also the Brands and Communication Manager for Football 360, Kwese SportsXtra, on KFS and Celebrity Fanzone, The Tonight Show, and After Hours. Gideon is an e-commerce consultant for Department of Geography & Regional Planning and Department of Religion & Human Values at the University of Cape Coast. He is a columnist for several local and international news portals. Gideon holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Policy Journalism and is committed to promoting transparency and accountability using investigative & data journalism. Gideon is an author with over eight publications; a fellow of the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI), Thomson Reuters Foundation (Wealth of Nations Program) and Bloomberg Data for Health Program.

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