The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and its partners have celebrated the transformation of private maternity homes in Ghana.
The celebration saw the gathering of Midwives, government representatives, USAID staff, and partners in Accra.
The event included presentations, poster exhibitions, and a panel discussion on revitalizing the private maternity sector in Ghana.
Present at the event were President of the Ghana Registered Midwives Association, Netta Ackon and USAID/Ghana Health Office Director Akua Kwateng-Addo.
Others were the President and CEO of Banyan Global, Meaghan Smith, and Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service representatives.
Private maternity homes are an important provider of maternal and child health care in Ghana, but they have experienced a steady decline over the past decade as midwives have aged and facilities have closed.
Since 2014, USAID and its partners have worked to revive the private maternity sector in underserved areas of the country. These efforts include working with existing private maternity home owners, providing training and assistance in both clinical and business skills.
Other areas that have received some boost are assisting private maternity homes to complete ownership or management transformations. This is designed to help the health facility survive the departure of the primary owner or midwife.
USAID-Ghana Health Office, Director Akua Kwateng-Addo praised the achievements, describing them as “catalytic in encouraging facilities to build a sound financial foundation, which ultimately led to improved quality of services.”
Highlighting the importance of public-private partnerships in light of Ghana’s Beyond Aid vision, Akua Kwateng-Addo noted that “given limited donor funds, it has become imperative to identify alternate and innovative avenues for attracting resources and management expertise of the private sector.”
The development outcomes have shown promising results; 88 percent of surveyed private maternity homes are showing an improvement in financial sustainability while 92 percent have an improvement in the quality of clinical services and 22 facilities completing a transformation.
This is an indication that the private maternity home has taken critical steps to ensure financially sustainable ownership and management.
The process of revitalizing private maternity involves transferring the ownership of declining or closed facilities to younger midwives who can make investments that will increase capacity, improve quality, and expand important maternal child health and family planning services in rural areas.
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