A memorandum of understanding has been signed between Gomoa District Directorate of Health Service, Gomoa District Assembly and the Drivers Unions in the district to reduce maternal mortality.

Under the MOU, drivers are to convey pregnant women in labour to health facilities without demanding direct payment from the women and their relatives who accompany them.

The District Directorate shall submit transport claims of drivers to the Assembly and the Assembly is to reimburse drivers for all labour cases transported to health facilities within the district.

The District Director of Health Service, Miss Patricia Antwi, said the fifth Millennium Development Goal was to reduce maternal mortality ratio by three-quarter between 1990 and 2015.

She said the district recorded three maternal deaths in 2006, but measures, including the signing of the MOU had been put in place to reduce the deaths to zero.

She notes that inability of pregnant women and their relatives to get money to arrange for transport to convey women in labour to health facilities in time was one of the causes of maternal deaths.

Miss Antwi said awareness had been created in the communities about the danger signs in pregnancy and labour and the need for early reporting at health facilities.

She gave the assurance that the facilities were well equipped to manage all obstetric emergencies.

The Central Regional Director of Health Service, Dr Aaron Offei, commended the Assembly for being the first in the region to accept to reimburse the cost of transporting women in labour to health facilities. He urged other assemblies to emulate the gesture to enable them to achieve the Millennium Development Goal.

The District Chief Executive, Ms Joyce Mildred Aidoo, said the government attached great importance to the health needs of the citizenry, hence the introduction of the National Health Insurance Scheme and appealed to the people to register and also to convince friends and relatives to do so.

The assembly donated ¢10 million raised from non-denominational church service organized in connection with Ghana at 50 to Apam Catholic Hospital to defray part of their water bills.

Source: GNA