The 2017 Ghana Maternal Health Survey (2017 GMHS) was implemented by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) from 15 June through 12 October 2017. The funding for the 2017 GMHS was provided by the Government of Ghana, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the European Union (EU) delegation to Ghana, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). ICF provided technical assistance through The DHS Program, a USAID-funded project providing support and technical assistance in the implementation of population and health surveys in countries worldwide.
The primary aim of the 2017 GMHS was to collect data at the national level that will allow an assessment of the level of maternal mortality in Ghana for the country as a whole and for the Coastal, Middle, and Northern zones. Another goal was to identify specific causes of maternal and non-maternal deaths. The project also sought to collect data on women’s perceptions of and experiences with antenatal, maternity,
and emergency obstetrical care, especially with regard to care received before, during, and following the termination or abortion of a pregnancy, and to measure indicators of the utilisation of maternal health services, especially post-abortion care services. In addition, the project creates an avenue for follow-on studies that can contribute to possible reductions in maternal mortality as well as abortion-related
mortality. The information collected is intended to help policymakers and programme managers evaluate and design programmes and strategies for improving maternal health in Ghana. The 2017 GMHS was implemented by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) with technical assistance from ICF through The DHS Program, which is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and offers financial support and technical assistance for population and health surveys in countries worldwide. Financial support for the 2017 GMHS was provided by the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Health (MOH) and by USAID, the European Union (EU) delegation to Ghana, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The GMHS results show that 10% of deaths among women age 12-49 in Ghana are due to direct maternal causes, with obstetric haemorrhage the largest single cause of direct maternal deaths. Almost all pregnant women receive antenatal care from a skilled provider, 8 in 10 deliveries take place in a health facility and are attended by a skilled provider, and slightly more than 8 in 10 women receive postnatal care within 2 days after delivery. While the country’s policy and programme emphasis on continuity of care has resulted in nearly three quarters of women receiving all three maternity care components (antenatal care, delivery care, and postnatal care), efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 must focus on the quarter of women who still have incomplete access.