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.
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.
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