Lack of adequate trained personnel causing maternal deaths in Upper West Region
Alhaji Issahaque Salia, Upper West Regional Minister, says the lack of adequate critical medical personnel to man health facilities remained a major challenge to addressing maternal death in the Region.
He said four out of the nine districts in the Region had no hospitals, while few doctors were at post with some districts having to do with one doctor manning district hospitals.
Midwives manning health facilities in the communities were aged and often over burdened by the large numbers of pregnant women who attend health facilities to deliver.
Alhaji Salia was briefing stakeholders in the health sector on the maternal health situation in the Region during the launch of the “Campaign for Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa” by Dr. Ernestina Naadu Mills, the First lady, in Wa on Tuesday.
Dr.Naadu Mills was in the region to interact with district and municipal assemblies, health workers, traditional rulers and some department heads to commit more resources to help reduce maternal death in the Region.
Alhaji Salia said the situation had been complicated by the inadequate provision of good roads, health facilities and the non-availability of critical core health personnel, as well as good nutrition among pregnant women and the education of the people to patronize health facilities to have skilled deliveries.
The absence of these imposed a huge challenge for health personnel and other stakeholders in their efforts at addressing maternal deaths challenges, especially at the rural communities where the maternal deaths trend had been high.
The Regional Minister announced that last year, the Region recorded 26 maternal deaths and has within half of this year registered 19 maternal deaths.
“For a region which has only about eight per cent of its total road network tarred with more than 70 per cent rural setting and with few health facilities as well as inadequate medical personnel, our task remains enormous,” Alhaji Salia lamented.
He encouraged the District Assemblies in the Region to be committed to the task, saying, the prevalence of a high maternal mortality rate was an indictment to any achievement made in development.
He called for the construction of more feeder roads and health facilities in rural communities, improved in the sharing of information on maternal health and involvement of community members in maternal health activities.
Dr. Alexis Nang-Beifubah, Upper West Regional Director of Health Services, said he was happy that the launch of CARMMA would help increase support from the District assemblies and other stakeholders to complement efforts by health workers to reduce maternal and infant deaths.
He suggested to the Regional Coordinating Council to institute a sponsorship package for students from the Region who would gain admission to the Medical School to be trained as doctors and come and serve the Region.
Dr. Nang-Beifubah also appealed to district assemblies to sponsor more students to health training institutions to be trained as midwives to provide quality health care services for pregnant women in the rural communities.
The District Assemblies pledged to build more health facilities, bear transport cost of pregnant women, sponsor more students to health training schools, and construct more feeders’ roads in rural communities to facilitate the transportation of sick people especially during the rainy season.