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USAID Saving Maternity Homes in Ghana, Innovate for Health Project Hosts End of Project Event

Banyan Global joined midwives, representatives from the government of Ghana, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in early February to celebrate the transformation of private maternity homes in Ghana. The USAID Saving Maternity Homes in Ghana, Innovate for Health project End of Project Event was held on Friday, February 2 in Accra, Ghana.

USAID/Ghana Health Office Director, Akua Kwateng-Addo (third from left); USAID/Ghana Health Office Deputy Director, Rebecca Fertziger (far right); USAID staff; midwives; and partners, pose for a group photo at an event to celebrate the successful development of private maternity homes in Ghana. Photo credit: Saving Maternity Homes.

The USAID-funded Saving Maternity Homes in Ghana, Innovate for Health project, implemented by Banyan Global in partnership with the Ghana Registered Midwives Association (GRMA), came to a close this month after operating in the country since September 2014. Private maternity homes are an important provider of maternal and child health care in Ghana, but they experienced a steady decline over the past decade as midwives aged and closed facilities. The purpose of the USAID Saving Maternity Homes in Ghana, Innovate for Health project was to revitalize the private maternity sector in underserved areas of the country. By working with existing private maternity home owners, the project provided training and assistance in both clinical and business skills, and assisted private maternity homes to complete ownership or management transformations designed to help the health facility survive the departure of the primary owner/midwife.

To celebrate the success of the project in supporting private maternity homes’ ability to offer high-quality maternal and child health care, the project hosted its End of Project event. Attendees heard from USAID, GRMA, and project representatives on lessons learned throughout the life of the project. Presentations and a poster exhibition focused on achievements and project learnings, as well as specific examples of maternity homes impacted by the program.

Banyan Global’s president and CEO, Meaghan Smith, spoke about how innovation drove the project throughout its life span, from design to implementation to monitoring and evaluation: “At its heart the Saving Maternity Homes project tested an innovative approach to improving access to maternal, newborn and child health services in rural and underserved areas. Our approach married clinical and business capacity building to a new model for transforming private maternity homes.” She credits innovation, then, with contributing to the project’s success.

In total, 22 facilities completed a transformation with the Saving Maternity Homes in Ghana, Innovate for Health project. In addition, 88 percent of surveyed private maternity homes demonstrated an improvement in financial sustainability, and 92 percent demonstrated an improvement in the quality of clinical services.