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October 15, 2015 
Ghana Demographic and Health Survey shows improvements in maternal and child health

Accra, Ghana –The results of the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS) were officially launched today, 15 October, 2015, by the Government Statistician, Dr. Philomena Nyarko of the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS). The 2014 GDHS, the sixth DHS survey in Ghana, provides the Government of Ghana and international partners with reliable and up-to-date statistics on the health and welfare of the Ghanaian population.

The 2014 GDHS was implemented by GSS, the Ghana Health Service (GHS), and the National Public Health Reference Laboratory (NPHRL). Financial support for the survey was provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Global Fund through the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) and the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), and the Government of Ghana. The data for the survey were collected nationwide, with a sample of nearly 12,000 households. More than 9,000 women age 15-49 and 4,000 men age 15-59 were interviewed.

The GDHS shows improvements in a number of key health indicators, but at the same time, there is still much room for progress. The survey shows a decline in childhood deaths. In 2014, the under-5 mortality rate was 60 deaths per 1,000 live births, a decline from 155 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1988. At this current level, one in every 17 Ghanaian children dies before their fifth birthday. Among children age 12-23 months, 77% have received all basic vaccinations, a slight decrease from 79% in 2008.

More pregnant women are receiving antenatal care and improved delivery services from skilled providers (doctor, nurse/midwife, and community health officer/nurse). Nearly all Ghanaian women (97%) receive antenatal care from a skilled provider, an increase from 82% in 1988. Three-quarters of births occur in a health facility, primarily in public sector facilities, while 27% of births occur at home. Three in four births are assisted by a skilled provider.

The GDHS results show important successes in malaria prevention. In Ghana, two in three households own at least one insecticide-treated net (ITN), a substantial increase from 4% of households in the 2003 GDHS. Children and pregnant women are most vulnerable to malaria. In 2014, 47% of children under five and 43% of pregnant women slept under an ITN the night before the survey. This is a marked improvement from 4% of children and 3% of pregnant women who reported using an ITN in 2003. Still, more than one in four Ghanaian children age 6-59 months tested positive for malaria by microscopy.

Additional information about the 2014 GDHS may be obtained from the Ghana Statistical Service, Head Office, P.O. Box GP 1098, Accra, Ghana (Telephone: 233-302-682-661/233-302-663-578;Fax: 233-302-664-304;email: info@statsghana.gov.gh;website:www.statsghana.gov.gh).