Maternal deaths in Upper East not getting better


Dr John Koku Awoonor-Williams
Bolgatanga, March 2, GNA – Dr John Koku Awoonor-Williams, Upper East Regional Director of Health Service, has expressed worry about institutional maternal deaths in the Region.

The Regional Director who was addressing the 2014 Annual Regional Health Sector Performance Review Meeting, held in Bolgatanga, stated that institutional maternal death increased from 37 deaths in 2012 to 47 deaths in 2014.

In terms of institutional maternal mortality ratio recorded in the Region, the Director said it increased from 127.1 per 100,000 live births in 2012 to 151 per 100,000 live births in 2014.

‘We must all be concerned about this trend, especially when we know that most of these deaths are preventable,’ the Regional Director told the health workers.

He said as part of measures to help confront the issue, the Regional Directorate recently convened a conference on maternal deaths to brainstorm on how to tackle the menace.

Dr Awoonor-Williams said that a recent study conducted by the Regional Health Directorate revealed that even though women attended Antenatal Care sessions, some of them did not deliver at health facilities because of the negative attitudes of some nurses towards them.

He attributed the maternal mortality in the Region mainly to malnutrition and said about 80 per cent of women who go to health facilities to delivery were anaemic, which often resulted in birth complications.  

He said the Regional Health Directorate would oversee to it that customer care was key in health delivery at the facilities in the Region.  

He also observed that Family Planning coverage had not seen any appreciable level of improvement as it increased slightly from 28.0 per cent in 2013 to 29.2 per cent in 2014.

On supervised delivery, he said the Region had the highest coverage in the country, and applauded the staff, particularly, midwives and Community Health Nurses.

The Upper East Deputy Regional Minister, Mr Daniel Syme, said the Regional Coordinating Council would continue to support health delivery systems in the Region

The 2014 Annual Regional Health Sector Performance Review Meeting on the theme: ‘Improving the Documentation of Best Practices; key to achieve MDGs 4,5 and 6’, which are basically to reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; and combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, respectively.

It attracted stakeholders including District Directors of the Ghana Health Service, Doctors, Nurses, Midwives, representatives of the Ministry of Health, Civil Society Organizations, and UNICEF    to examine successes, challenges and the way forward towards enhancing health delivery.

GNA


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