Open Access Research article

Implementation challenges of maternal health care in Ghana: the case of health care providers in the Tamale Metropolis

Emmanuel Banchani* and Eric Y Tenkorang

Author Affiliations

Department of Sociology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s A1C 5S7, Canada

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Health Services Research 2014, 14:7  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-7

Published: 6 January 2014



Achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of improving maternal health has become a focus in recent times for the majority of countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Ghana’s maternal mortality is still high indicating that there are challenges in the provision of quality maternal health care at the facility level. This study examined the implementation challenges of maternal health care services in the Tamale Metropolis of Ghana.


Purposive sampling was used to select study participants and qualitative strategies, including in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and review of documents employed for data collection. The study participants included midwives (24) and health managers (4) at the facility level.


The study revealed inadequate in-service training, limited knowledge of health policies by midwives, increased workload, risks of infection, low motivation, inadequate labour wards, problems with transportation, and difficulties in following the procurement act, among others as some of the challenges confronting the successful implementation of the MDGs targeting maternal and child health in the Tamale Metropolis.


Implementation of maternal health interventions should take into consideration the environment or the context under which the interventions are implemented by health care providers to ensure they are successful. The study recommends involving midwives in the health policy development process to secure their support and commitment towards successful implementation of maternal health interventions.

Implementation; Millennium Development goal; Maternal health; Ghana