By Alex Osei-Boateng ACCRA, (Xinhua) --
A new learning approach introduced into Ghana is
saving the lives of newborn babies in four regions of the
country, a study said on Thursday.
The study, led by
Jhpiego, a non-profit health organization affiliated to the
Johns Hopkins University, revealed that early newborn death
dropped by 56 percent and intra-partum stillbirth was halved
after a practice-based learning approach replaced traditional
training to improve and maintain midwifery skills.
Branded as Low-Dose,
High Frequency (LDHF), the approach trains teams of frontline
healthcare providers and features delivery of short lessons and
interactive simulations that are reinforced over time to
The Ghana study
showed the LDHF approach was highly cost-effective, with the
reduction in early newborn deaths showing clear value from the
investments made through program activities.
Although Ghana had
made progress in the reduction of the health-related MDGs by the
end of 2015, the progress made towards reducing under-five
mortality rate was not highly significant.
According to the
2014 Demographic and Health Survey, under-five mortality rate
was 60 deaths per 1,000 live births and, out of this, 68 percent
occurred before a child’s first birthday, 48 percent occurring
during the first month of life.
Minister of Health
Kwaku Agyemang Manu stressed the need for cost-effective
interventions to speed up the achievement of the Sustainable
cost-effective interventions were now available to protect
children from the most dangerous day of their live, the day of
birth, but a number of health personnel did not have the
required skills for these interventions, stressing his outfit’s
commitment to ensuring that personnel were equipped with the
requisite expertise and the tools to help reduce this menace.
He said the ministry
had developed and launched the national healthcare quality
strategy which is expected to help improve the quality of
healthcare rendered to newborns and also improve their health
“We believe by
investing in quality care around the time of birth and expert
care for sick newborns, we could save thousands of newborn lives
in Ghana,” said Manu.