Saving Mothers in Africa

Decreasing maternal mortality in Ghana

Since 1986, Timothy R.B. Johnson, M.D., has spearheaded an innovative approach to decreasing maternal mortality in Ghana, which historically experienced one of the highest rates of death among new mothers. A partnership among two Ghanaian medical schools, the Ghanaian government and the University of Michigan has developed quality obstetrics and gynecology specialty training in Ghanaian medical schools — the first of its kind in West Africa. Since in-country training started, more than 140 obstetrician-gynecologists have been added to the ranks, retention rates exceed 99 percent and the maternal mortality rate there has been cut by more than half. Now similar partnerships are being developed with a goal to train 1,000 obstetrician-gynecologists across Sub-Saharan Africa in 10 years.