Each year, hundreds of women in Ghana lose their lives during child birth, leading to Ghana scoring low on MDG 5, in light of this situation, Penplusbytes with funding and technical support from STAR-Ghana is undertaking the "Open Ghana - Data Journalism for Improved Maternal Healthcare Delivery" project which will generate compelling data driven stories to support the fight against high rate of maternal mortality.
As part of project implementation, a one day forum is being organised to bring together ordinary citizens, journalists, civil society organizations (CSOs), Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) on the 10th of April, 2014 at the Sky Plus Hotel in Ho, Volta Region to directly engage with health officials and demand responsiveness from the District Health Services (DHSs) officials on maternal healthcare expenditure.
The project is being implemented in four districts in the Volta region - Ho Municipal, Hohoe Municipal, Kpando and South Dayi districts since according to the Ghana Health Service report the region was among 3 regions in Ghana which were struggling to attain the 50% target for skilled delivery set by the GHS under MDG5 as stated in the 2011 Ghana Health Service Annual Report.
According to Mr. Maxwell Adu-Gyamfi, the Project Coordinator, "Since data journalism is still in its infancy we have designed this project not only to equip the media with the skills to decipher data on maternal health but to undertake in-depth and investigative stories that will best inform citizens and also draw duty-bearers attention to issues impedes effective maternal health care delivery for the necessary action to be taken to help reduce maternal mortality in the region"
The Volta Regional Minister, Ms Helen Adjoa Ntoso, and the Regional Director of Health, Dr. Joseph Teye Nuertey, will grace the occasion and Dr. Francis Zotor, the Dean of the School of Public Health, University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) will deliver the keynote address and also double as the Chairman of the occasion.
The key objective of this project is to empower the media to use the techniques and innovations in data-driven journalism to tell impactful stories on maternal healthcare delivery; advocate for better maternal health delivery. Another objective is to provide a platform for the media and CSOs to hold responsive agencies and structures accountable in delivering improved Maternal Health.
Established in 2001, Penplusbytes is a leading organization in Africa working in 3 areas: governance and accountability, new media and innovations as well as oil, gas and mining.
It consists of a network of media organizations and journalists interested in using ICTs to effectively advance high quality journalism
Star-Ghana is a multi- donor pooled funding mechanism (Funded by DFID, DANIDA, EU and USAID) to increase the influence of civil society and Parliament in the governance of public goods and service delivery, with the ultimate goal of improving the accountability and responsiveness of Ghana´s government, traditional authorities and the private sector