By Murtala Issah
An Emergency Dispatch Center has been inaugurated in the Gushegu Municipality of the Northern region. The center will serve as a coordination point for referrals among fourteen medical facilities in the area to ensure quality health care for patients particularly expectant mothers and newborns in the area. The initiative forms part of efforts to reduce maternal and infant mortality by providing timely responses to emergencies and ultimately contributing towards the attainment of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3.
The project, known as the Acute Care and Emergency Referral System (ACERS) is implemented by the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service (CRS) and the National Ambulance Service with funding from the USAID. Addressing stakeholders at the launch of the inauguration of the project in Gushegu, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Ambulance Service, Professor Ahmed Nuhu Zakariah lauded the initiative saying being the first of it’s kind in the country, it will help improve emergency response in the Municipality and beyond.
The Country Representative for the CRS, Daniel Mumuni, expressed delight that the project has come to fruition. He announced that the ACERS initiative will be replicated in ten locations across the country to boost emergency response in rural Ghana.
The US Ambassador to Ghana, Stephanie S. Sullivan emphasized that the project is a demonstration of the relationship between Ghana and the United States of America. She used the occasion to call for support towards efforts to end sexual and gender-based violence.
“The US government is committed to supporting Ghana to deliver high quality care for pregnant women and their babies and to end preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths. In the words of the late Ghanaian Statesman, Kofi Anan, children are our future and their mothers are its guardians. Investing in mothers and newborns is both the right thing to do and a smart economic investment”, the US Ambassador noted.
Though Ghana has made significant progress in reducing maternal and infant mortality, stakeholders believe a lot more needs to be done to attain SDG 3, which aims at ensuring wellbeing for all by 2030.
It is therefore hoped that the ACERS project will give the needed push to achieve these targets.