The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) donated a million copies of the Maternal and Child Health Record Book (MCH Record Book) to the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS). The GHS3.5 million gift was provided through one of JICA’s technical cooperation projects in Ghana: The Project for Improving Continuum of Care for Mothers and Children through the Introduction of combined MCH Record Book Project.

The books are expected to support the improvement of access to quality maternal and child health and nutrition services as Ghana works to contain the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare delivery. The Chief Representative of the JICA Ghana Office Mr. Araki Yasumichi appealed for the need to sustain the supply of the books, especially as the MCH Record Book Project edged to a close in January 2022. Mr. Yasumichi noted that despite the challenge of the global pandemic, JICA was resolute in its commitment to ensure the continuum of care, especial for maternal, child health and nutrition services, demonstrated by a three-fold increase JICA’s annual support to Ghana.

The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye expressed gratitude to the Government of Japan for the support. Dr. Kuma-Aboagye underlined the need to ensure adequate numbers of the record books were available at all times to ensure continuity and access to services in line with Ghana’s Universal Health Coverage (UHC) agenda. He announced that GHS, with support from the Ministry of Health were taking steps to ensure timely procurement and sustained supply of the record books, including arrangements with Ghana’s National Health Insurance Authority to print 250,000 copies of the record book.

Dr. Kuma-Aboagye urged businesses and other stakeholders to come on board to support the printing of the book as Ghana forges ahead to achieve universal health coverage.

Background of MCH Record Book

The Ministry of Health and GHS developed and integrated the use of MCH Record Book with technical and financial support from JICA. The MCH Record Book includes all the relevant information and data concerning the mothers’ progress during pregnancy, state of delivery, immunization records and health check-up records for their children. The book is designed to deliver essential MCH and nutrition messages to mothers and caregivers.

The JICA MCH Record Book Project has so far printed more than 1.5 million MCH Record Books, and supported the GHS to train more than 2,500 health workers in all 16 regions on how to use the record book to provide quality maternal and child healthcare.