Former President John Agyekum Kuffour has narrated the key role the late Queen of England, Elizabeth II, played in his government’s incredible work in reducing the alarming rate of maternal mortality in Ghana.
According to the former two-term Ghanaian President, the Free Maternal Healthcare Policy (FMHCP) that his government introduced was only made possible through a grant from the United Kingdom which was won with the help of the Queen.
President Kuffour revealed this as he paid tribute to the late British monarch during an interview on Anopa Bofo morning show on Angel Fm in Accra.
Ex-President Kuffour narrated that when he took over power, his government resolved to tackle the alarming rise of maternal mortality in the country and approached the United Kingdom government for a loan.
According to him, the loan was later turned into a grant and he believes the Queen played a key role in that.
“Something like the Free Maternity Care that I brought to Ghana…our report showed that our women died a lot during childbirth and when my government decided to intervene, there were financial constraints so I went to them for a loan for free maternity care policy…I met then Prime Minister Gordon Brown and discussed that I needed financial assistance to resolve it and a day after that the Prime Minister through one of his ministers after deliberations with government agreed to help,”
“I was going to seek a loan of only 6 million pounds but the minister informed me that the Prime Minister said they would give me 42 million pounds as grant [not loan] which meant we wouldn’t have to pay back,” he revealed.
According to him, the UK government praised the Free Maternity Care as a good policy worthy of support thus the grants, adding that “the Queen had a hand in it”.
The NPP government of President Kuffour introduced the Free Maternal Healthcare Policy (FMHCP) in 2008 under which all pregnant women were signed under the National Health Insurance Scheme to receive healthcare free of charge.
Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8th 2022 at her royal castle in Balmoral, Scotland.
Her eldest son, Prince Charles, has taken over as King Charles III.