The 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 a 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 GH¢3.5million.
This support is intended to improve access to quality maternal and child health and nutrition services as the country works to contain impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on health care delivery.
Araki Yasumichi, chief representative of the JICA Ghana Office, in his remarks expressed gratitude to the Ghana Health Service and Ministry of Health for their 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 ensuring the continuum of care – especially for Maternal, Child Health (MCH) and Nutrition Services – by donating three-fold its annual support, close to one million MCH Record Books. He concluded by stating the need to ensure sustainability of the book’s supply, especially as the MCH Record Book project edges toward 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 meant to improve the maternal, child health and nutrition status in the country, and expressed his gratitude to the government of Japan for being very supportive.
He emphasised 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 which 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 corporate institutions and other stakeholders in health, including the Private Sector, to come on board to support printing the book as Ghana forges on to achieve UHC.
GHS, MOH and JICA will continue to explore all avenues to print and distribute sufficient numbers of the MCH Record Book for uninterrupted and sustainable delivery of quality MCH and nutrition services involving both the public and private sectors.
Background to the integrated MCH record book
The MoH and the GHS developed and integrated the 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, the MCH Record Book has been distributed and utilised all over the country.
The MCH Record Book includes all the relevant information and data concerning a mother’s progress during her pregnancy, state of her delivery, immunisation records and health check-up records for her child.
The Combined MCH Record Book is designed to deliver essential MCH and Nutrition messages to mothers and caregivers. The JICA MCH Record Book Project has printed more than 1.5 million MCH Record Books since 2018, and supported GHS to train more than 2,500 health workers in all 16 regions on how to use the MCH Record Book to provide quality maternal and child health care.