Reproductive and Child Health Department

The Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) Department is one of three departments under the Family Health Division of the Ghana Health Service. The RCH Department is responsible for coordinating the implementation of reproductive and child health activities at the national level. The unit is headed by a Deputy Director of Reproductive and Child Health. The Department has programme coordinators and officers for child health, adolescent health, family planning and safe motherhood and newborn care respectively. The Department works with the regional health directorates which are headed by Regional Directors of Health Services. Each regional directorate has a public health unit which sees to the implementation of reproductive and child health activities. The district directorates have similar structures as that of the regions. The districts report to the regions and the regions send reports to the national level. At the national level, the RCH Department works with other departments and divisions within the Ghana Health services. The RCH Department also collaborates with other Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Non-governmental Organizations and the Private sector working in reproductive and child health areas.

VISION

The vision of the Reproductive and child health (RCH) department is to contribute to improvement in the health and quality of persons of reproductive age and beyond as well as children by providing high quality reproductive and child health services.

Reproductive and child health services will continue to be integrated and made accessible to all individuals in Ghana within the context of the primary health care strategy.

Child Health

The Child Health Program constitute all child health activities aimed at promoting and maintaining the optimal growth and development of children aged 0 to 18 year. For programmatic purposes it has been sub-divided into three groups:

  1. Children under five years (0-5 years)
  2. School age children ( 5015 years)
  3. Adolescents (10-19 years)

 

Components of child health

The components of the Child Health Programme include:

  1. Newborn care services
  • Neonatal resuscitation
  • Breastfeeding
  • Postnatal care services
  • Infection prevention and control
  • Kangaroo Mother Care
  • Birth registration
  1. Child welfare services
  • Promotion of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and timely introduction of complementary feeding
  • Immunization
  • Growth promotion and nutrition rehabilitation
  • Curative care for minor ailments and injuries
  1. School health services
  • Screening and examination of school children and food vendors
  • Immunization
  • Health education on current public health issues
  • Management of minor ailments and injuries
  • Maintenance of hygienic and safe school environment
  • Referrals
  1. Adolescent health and development
  • Identification and management of common health problems affecting adolescents
  • Provision of adolescent focused services including counseling, information education and counseling (IE&C and reproductive health issues in general
  • Referrals

 

Priorities of Child Health Care are
  • Neonatal health
  • Prevention and management of nutritional problems
  • Prevention and control of infectious diseases and injuries
  • Clinical care of the sick, and injured child
  • Adolescent health
  • School health

 

Objectives

To decrease infant mortality rates from 53/1000 live births (MICS 2011) to 22/1000 live births (MDG target.

4.1 Programme Areas

  • Child Welfare Services
  • Newborn care
  • Breastfeeding Promotion
  • Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illness (IMNCI)
  • School Health Services

 

Reproductive Health
Definition: a state o complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters related to the reproductive system and to its functions and processes. (ICPD).

Components of reproductive health

1.    Safe motherhood including antenatal, safe delivery and postnatal care especially breastfeeding, prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT), infant health and women’s health

2.    Family planning

3.    Prevention and management of unsafe abortion and post abortion care

4.    Prevention and management of reproductive tract infection (RTI), including sexually transmitted infections (STI), HIV/AIDS.

5.    Management of cancers of the reproductive system, including cervical, breast, testicular and prostatic cancers

6.    Responding to concerns about menopause

7.    Prevention and management of harmful traditional practices that affect the reproductive health of men and women such as female genital mutilation

8.    Information and counseling on human sexuality, responsible sexual behavior, responsible parenthood, pre-conceptual care and sexual health

9.    Gender-based violence and reproductive health.