The impacts of free maternal delivery policy on maternal mortality in Ghana; a case study of Kumasi Metropolis.

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Maternal mortality is a prevalent problem particularly in developing countries including Ghana and as a result, the United Nations has set a goal on maternal health to be achieved by all member countries by 2015 known as Millennium Development Goal 5 which aims to achieve a seventy-five per cent reduction in maternal mortality between 1990 and 2015 levels and also increase access to reproductive health. It is therefore imperative in this research to find the impacts of the Free Maternal Healthcare Policy implemented by the Government of Ghana in 2008 that provides free antenatal care, delivery services and postnatal care to expectant mothers aimed at curtailing the high maternal mortality in the country and achieve the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goal 5 by the year 2015. Kumasi Metropolis is used as the case study area with secondary data collected from records of health facilities in the metropolis and running regression models for key variables that were studied including antenatal and postnatal care in the pre-policy and post-policy periods. The results are presented and analysis made. The study revealed that antenatal care related negatively with maternal mortality whiles postnatal care related positively to maternal mortality in the pre-policy period however, the two variables are not statistically significant on impacting on maternal mortality in the pre-policy period. In the post-policy period, both variables relate positively with maternal mortality, however only antenatal attendance has a statistically significant impact on maternal mortality. The study revealed that there are inherent challenges in the operation of the Free Maternal Healthcare Policy to cause a statistically significant impact to curtail maternal mortality thus recommendations are made to concerned agencies to be implemented to enable the country achieve it Millennium development Goal 5 by 2015.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Economics, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MASTER OF ARTS.May,2013