Despite the efforts to improve maternal and child health, reduction of the rate of neonatal deaths in the country has been relatively slow.

This is because of the over-concentration on the reduction of maternal death with the believe that, once the mother is alive, she could always get pregnant to deliver babies again.

This was made known by the President of the Medical Superintendents Group Ghana, Dr Jacob Abebrese at the group’s 13th Annual General Conference in Koforidua.

The conference is being organised on the theme:  “Improving neonatal care towards child survival-the role of hospital leadership.”

He said members would talk to the leadership of Ghana Health Service (GHS) to make it a policy for mandatory investigations of the causes of all neonatal deaths.

He explained that, the group believes that, such a policy would help the various public hospitals to come out with solutions to the causes of neonatal health and help reduce the trend in the country.

Dr Abrebese said, the group also want reduction in neonatal deaths to be included in the performance contract between the GHS and the medical superintendents.

Mr Antwi-Boasiako Sekyere, Eastern Regional Minister observed that poor quality leadership and unmotivated staff could not achieve the best results with the best equipment and infrastructure.

He called on the participants at the conference to come out with strategies that would enable them to overcome the various challenges facing their work.

Mr Antwi-Boasiako urged them not to wish away the socio-cultural practices that hinder their work, but to pick the best practices and see how they could take advantage of them.

Dr Samuel Kaba Akoriyea, Director of Institutional Care of GHS observed that, the solutions to the challenges in the health service could not be found at the headquarters but need the collaboration of all health workers.

Dr Mrs Charity Sarpong, Regional Director of Health Services, Dr Mrs Charity Sarpong called for intensification of training of staff to enable them support efforts to reduce neonatal death.

Dr Kofi Ablor, Chairman of the Eastern Chapter of the group, observed that, as the date for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals comes to a close, it is clear that Ghana cannot achieve the target on child survival and neonatal deaths but it is important as heads of public health institutions to meet to discuss the way forward and take concrete decisions to guide them.