Donnish Journal of Nursing and Midwifery

July 2015 Vol. 1(3), pp. 019-025

Copyright © 2015 Donnish Journals

Original Research Article

Access and Equity in Free Maternal Delivery Policy in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana: Voices of Women

Clara Ohenewa Benneh1 and Reuben K. Esena2*

1University of Ghana, Institute of Continuing and Distance Education, P. O. Box LG 31, Legon, Accra, Ghana.
2University of Ghana, School of Public Health, P. O. Box LG 13, Legon, Accra, Ghana.

Corresponding Author E-mail:

Accepted 7th May, 2015.


In 2005, Ghana instituted a free maternal delivery policy as a pro-poor strategy to enable all women have access to quality maternal health services. The aim was to meet the Millennium Development Goal 5 which seeks to reduce maternal mortality ratio by 75 percent between 1990 and 2015. It also aimed at increasing the percentage of births attended by skilled professionals from 40 per cent in 2005 to 60 per cent by 2015. The purpose of the study was to analyze access and equity issues in free maternal delivery policy and to assess the level of awareness, concerns and perceptions of women on the policy. This study focused on the voices and concerns of women who are the direct beneficiaries of the policy. The study used a qualitative case study approach drawing on focus group interviews with women from three districts in the Brong Ahafo Region in Ghana. Results from the study were analyzed using the Constant Comparative approach of grounded theory. The findings showed that many women are still excluded by reason of poverty. Irrespective of the policy, access to professional skilled birth attendant is still restrained by various indirect costs associated with hospital delivery. This made the policy inequitable to women and denied them their right to reproductive health. Womenís concerns bordered very much on their right to dignity often denied them by health personnel in hospitals. Inclusion of womenís voices is relevant to informing policy on free delivery policy that need to be addressed.

Keywords: Free maternal delivery policy; access and equity; skilled birth attendant; womenís voices; reproductive rights.

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Cite This Article:

Clara Ohenewa Benneh and Reuben K. Esena. Access and Equity in Free Maternal Delivery Policy in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana: Voices of Women. Donnish Journal of Nursing and Midwifery 1(3) 2015 pp. 019-025.

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