Paving the way to better health for mothers and newborns in Ghana
Ghana, with its thriving democracy and economy, is a West African success story. Still, rates of death among children remain unacceptably high. Key threats for newborns include asphyxia, infection, and prematurity, while malaria is the leading cause of death for children under age five.
Since 2009, PATH has been working with the government and other partners in Ghana to tackle these and other health problems. One prime example is the successful introduction of rotavirus vaccines into the country’s national immunization schedule. These vaccines have drastically reduced the number of children dying from severe diarrhea. Across Ghana, our interventions are strengthening the health care system and empowering women to seek high-quality care for themselves and their children.
Our work in Ghana
Malaria: As the lead partner in the MalariaCare project, PATH is strengthening the quality of malaria diagnostics and clinical care and the information systems needed to support both. The project collaborates with the country’s National Malaria Control Program to build the capacity of health care providers at every level. Through PATH’s Malaria Vaccine Initiative, we are also providing evidence to help the government make informed decisions around RTS,S—the world’s most advanced malaria vaccine candidate.
Maternal and child health: In partnership with the Ghana Health Service, PATH is training health care workers to better address the primary causes of newborn deaths. Our work promotes essential newborn care, neonatal resuscitation, infection prevention, management of preterm and low-birthweight babies, and continuous quality improvement. PATH is also working to enhance the nutritional status of pregnant women and children, reduce the unmet need for family planning, and improve gender equity for better health outcomes.
Cervical cancer: To stop cervical cancer before it starts, PATH helped the Ghana Health Service secure funding to introduce a vaccine against human papillomavirus, which causes most cervical cancers. Our evaluation of the demonstration project is helping the country decide whether and how to introduce the vaccine nationwide.
Photo: PATH/Doune Porter.