Towards The Millenium Development Goal 5: Assessing The Quality Of Supervised Delivery In The Ga West District, Ghana.

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Child birth is of special value to both men and women in Ghana. Meanwhile childbearing is associated with high maternal mortality in Ghana. To achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5- improve maternal health by reducing the deaths by three-quarters, it is important to improve on the quality of maternal care especially supervised delivery. However not much is being done in this area probably because there is not much empirical data to inform policy. To contribute to providing more empirical evidence, a cross sectional study was designed to assess the quality of supervised delivery in the Ga West district with 325 women having babies 0-3 months and some selected health staff. The data was collected between August and October 2008. Systematic sampling was used to select respondents at the postnatal and child welfare clinic register in rural, peri-urban and urban health facilities in the district. Exit interview was done for all the selected clients and structured questionnaire administered to fifty service providers who were directly involved in child and maternal health care. Observation was also carried out in labour wards in government health facilities. The results showed that supervised delivery in the district was fraught with many challenges most especially in the area of partograph use, infection prevention and resource availability. It was established that partograph use was poor as about 90% of patographs examined were incomplete. Fifty percent (50%) infection prevention practices observed was poor, 71% of staff lamented that resources were lacking in the rural and insufficient in the peri-urban and urban health facilities. It was observed that initial newborn care was neglected, and all attention geared towards maternal care. The encouraging thing was that 91% of clients said that, the nurse- mother relationship was good and labour ward staff were all trained midwives. In conclusion the study revealed that though frantic efforts are underway to improve maternal health it is not adequate to achievement of the MDG5. In the light of the findings, it is recommended that more resources be made available and more training and supervision in the correct use of partographs and infection prevention. The findings have implications on achieving the MDG5.