Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) through one of its Technical Cooperation Projects, the “Project for Improving Continuum of Care for Mothers and Children through the Introduction of Combined Maternal and Child Health Record Book (“MCH Record Book Project”)” is supporting the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ghana Health Service (GHS) with close to one million copies of the Maternal and Child Health Record Book (MCH Record Book) at an estimated cost of about 3.5 million Ghana Cedis. This support is intended to improve access to quality maternal and child health and nutrition services as the country works to contain the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health care delivery.
Mr. Araki Yasumichi, the chief representative of JICA Ghana Office, in his remarks expressed gratitude to the Ghana Health Service and Ministry of Health for the strong collaboration over the past years and congratulated them for their efforts in the National COVID-19 Response Actions for Ghana. He added that despite the challenge of the global pandemic, JICA remains resolute with its commitment to ensure the continuum of care especially for Maternal, Child Health (MCH) and Nutrition Services by donating three folds of its annual support, close to one million MCH Record Books. He concluded by stating the need to ensure sustainability of the supply of the book especially as the MCH Record Book project edges towards its closure in January, 2022.
In response the Director General of the Ghana Health Service Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye mentioned that the Service remains committed to efforts to improve the maternal, child health and nutrition status in the country and expressed his gratitude to Government of Japan for being very supportive. He emphasized the need to ensure adequate numbers of the books are available at all times especially during these challenging times to safeguard continuity and access to services in line with Ghana’s Universal Health Coverage (UHC) agenda. He added that the Service with support from the Ministry of Health has initiated actions and put in place systems that will ensure timely procurement and sustained supply of the book. One such action is the engagement with the National Health Insurance Authority to print 250,000 copies of the book. He concluded by urging all cooperate institutions and other stakeholders in health including the Private Sector to come on board to support the printing of the book as Ghana forges on to achieve UHC.
GHS, MOH and JICA will continue to explore all avenues to print and distribute sufficient number of MCH Record Book for uninterrupted and sustainable delivery of quality MCH and nutrition services involving both public and private sectors.
BACKGROUND TO THE INTEGRATED MCH RECORD BOOK
The MoH and the GHS developed and integrated MCH Record Book with technical and financial support from JICA, and HE Ms. Samira Bawumia, the Second Lady of Ghana, launched the book in Ghana in March 2018 at Cape Coast. Since then, MCH Record Book has been distributed and utilized all over the country. The MCH Record Book includes all the relevant information and data concerning the mother’s progress during her pregnancy, state of her delivery, immunization records and health checkup records for her child. The Combined MCH Record Book is designed to deliver essential MCH and Nutrition messages to mothers and care givers. The JICA MCH Record Book Project has printed more than 1.5 million MCH Record Book 2018 and supported GHS to train more than 2500 health workers in all 16 regions on how to use MCH Record Book to provide quality maternal and child health care.