MISSION Director for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Ghana, Ms Sharon Cromer, has urged government to increase its investment in securing the lives of newborns if its agenda to become self-reliant will yield fruits.
According to her, any efforts to achieve government’s Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda cannot be fulfilled if the country keeps losing its human resource through the death of its newborns.
Speaking at the 7th National Newborn Stakeholders’ Conference in Accra on Tuesday, on the theme “Reaching Every Newborn, Count Down to 2030; “Don’t leave me out,” Ms Cromer commended ongoing efforts by health authorities to reduce newborn mortality, but called for more action.
“The government of Ghana has made a clear commitment to move beyond aid and along the path to self reliance, however the country cannot fulfill this vision without investing in its newborns and more broadly early childhood development,” she said.
Ms Cromer said “Ghana has made recent improvements in addressing neo-natal mortality, however much work still needs to be done.”
The mission of stakeholders, she intimated was not only to ensure that Ghana’s new born babies survive but also thrive into a well rounded and healthy child, a child who will be the foundation of a prosperous Ghana, a Ghana beyond aid.
Children require foundational pillars to ensure their overall wellbeing, good health and nutrition, safety and security responsive caregiving and opportunities for learners to be life-long learners.
Early experiences and the environment in which children develop in the first 1000 days have a lasting impact on the child’s brain development and well being.
The common objective is to ensure that every new born and every child in Ghana is given the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Progress being made in newborn healthcare delivery -UNICEF
Country Director, UNICEF Ghana, Madam Anne-Claire Dufay said her recent tours of some parts of the country such as Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region and Krachi East District in the Volta Region, had shown that Ghana was making significant progress in the newborn healthcare delivery.
She reiterated UNICEF’s commitment to help generate evidence based research findings and the establishment of neonatal care units and support for the promotion of mother and child health.
Govt commits to quality healthcare for newborns
Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu reiterated government’s commitment to ensuring quality service for maternal and newborn child healthcare.
The Minister whose address was read for him disclosed that several internationally recommended interventions as well as local initiatives were being implemented by the Ministry, sector agencies and partners to promote child survival and development.
He disclosed that “for the first time in decades, a significant decline of about 19 per cent has been recorded with neonatal mortality rate falling from the 2011 figure of 32 per thousand live births to 25 per thousand live births as recorded by the 2017 maternal mortality survey.”