Mr Kingsley Aboagye Gyedu, Deputy Minister of Health on Wednesday disclosed that 97 per cent of women in Ghana receive antenatal care from a skilled provider.

The percentage, he explained increased steadily from 82 per cent in 1988 to 97 per cent in 2014.

Similarly, the Deputy Minister noted that facility deliveries went-up from 42 per cent to 73 per cent in 2014 with a resultant increase in skilled delivery by 34 percentage points during the same period.

Family Planning indicators recorded some gains by 18 per cent from 28.4 to 33.5 per cent in 2015 and 2016 respectively while antenatal care visit to health facilities during the same period by 0.2 per cent with a resultant increase in skilled delivery by 0.5 per cent.

Mr Gyedu, said this at a ceremony in Accra to hand over 70 anaesthetic machines to Implementing Partners (IPs) as part of the Millennium Acceleration Framework (MAF).

The MAF is an initiative put together by development partners in collaboration with the health sector in 2015, committed funds and technical support to improve the coverage of skilled attendance during pregnancy childbirth and the postnatal period.

It also had the objective to improve coverage of family planning services, including availability and usage as well as increase accessibility to emergency obstetric and Neonatal Care.

The Minister commended development partners especially the European Union and Danish Development Agency for funding the initiative and noted that it had contributed greatly to Maternal, New-born and Child Health (MNCH) strategies to progressively improve health service delivery and outcome indicators.

He affirmed that the MAF Programme had the potential of contributing immensely to the Maternal and Neonatal Health (MNH) continuum of care activities and health outcomes in the country.

Unfortunately, these investments could not put the country on track to reach the 75 percent reduction of the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) required by the MDGs and added that the country’s maternal mortality ratio as of the year 2015 stood at 319 per 100, 000 live births.

Mr Gyedu urged all players in the health sector to work hard to consolidate the gains made under the programme and quickly implement various recommendations made on MNCH for better health outcomes for mothers and children.

Dr Gloria Quansah Asare, Deputy Director General of Ghana Health Service said in other to provide quality services in the area of maternal health the implementing partners after a need assessment requested for the equipment for specific health facilities in the country.

“We already have plans to do preventive and regular maintenance to ensure that machines were always in good shape to serve mothers and new-borns,” she remarked.

The Deputy Director General noted that though the country did not attain its MDG goals on childand maternal health, significant progress was made and added that stakeholders in the health sector were working frantically to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (MDGs).