The USAID/Ghana Saving Maternity Homes (SMH) project is working to revitalize and strengthen the declining number of private maternity homes (PMH), which play a critical role in service delivery for maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) and other health areas in underserved areas of Ghana. It also has the potential to significantly impact maternal and newborn child (MNC) health services and family planning in rural Ghana—feeding into one of Ghana Global Health Initiative’s key objectives to increase access to quality reproductive health and HIV care. The support provided by SMH will enable revitalized maternity homes to capitalize on the opportunity presented by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and its revenue stream, while responding to the demand for quality health services in rural areas.
The project utilizes several key strategies to support the government of Ghana’s efforts to achieve improved quality and access and ensure sustainable MNC health outcomes. The first strategy is to build the capacity of private maternity homes in succession and investment planning and identifying PMH ready for transformation. The second strategy is to broker PMH ownership/management transfer—meaning the project will broker the sale of declining or closed maternity homes to new owners (midwives or investors), test different business transfer models, including outright sale, and lease or organize co-ownership with external investors. The third strategy is to leverage financing and investment in the PMH to improve quality and expand services by providing access to finance, complemented by a small amount of seed funding from the project to reduce risk for investors. The fourth strategy is to provide business strengthening and clinical capacity building support for new owners to ensure success and maximize health outcomes. The fifth strategy is to build the capacity of the Ghana Registered Midwives Association to continue revitalizing private maternity homes in the future. The final strategy is to conduct operations research to provide lessons learned for future expansion to other cadres of health providers in rural areas. Ultimately, this project will increase access to, improve efficiencies and expand quality maternal and child health care and family planning services in rural areas of Ghana.