Maternal mortality still high in Greater Accra Region

The Greater Accra Region continues to record high maternal deaths despite efforts by health authorities to curb the situation.

Available statistics indicate that 242 women between 10 years to 35 years and above died while giving birth in 2011, 163 died in 2010 and 166 died in 2009.

Ms Helenmary Bainson, Deputy Director of Nursing Services, Greater Accra Health Directorate, who announced this at a forum organised by the Coalition of Non-Governmental Organisation (NGOs) in Health in Accra on Wednesday, said maternal death was still a problem in the Region because access to emergency obstetrics care was still a challenge.

Other challenges hindering the attainment of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4 and 5 in the Region were inadequate health facilities providing reproductive health services for the ever increasing population, inequity distribution of skilled birth attendants and life saving equipment as well as socio-cultural practices which prevent women from accessing reproductive health service.

The forum on the theme: “Overcoming the Gaps and Challenges in Attaining Reproductive Health and MDG Indicators in Greater Accra Region-The Role of CSOs and NGOs”, was attended by members of the Coalition.

Ms Bainson said out of 225 facilities conducting deliveries, only 41 offered emergency obstetrics care while 32 facilities could offer blood transfusion services, adding that unavailability of good road and inadequate ambulance services in some remote parts of the region had compounded the situation.

However, she said the situation was not all that disheartening as there had been various interventions like improvement in distribution of skilled birth attendants in deprived areas in the Region, improvement in antenatal and post natal care coverage, implementation of comprehensive abortion care in selected facilities to reduce maternal mortality rate and collaboration with private sector including NGOs strengthened to improve upon the situation.

Reverend (Mrs) Anna Brantuo, Greater Accra Chairperson, Coalition of NGOs in Health, said members attending the forum were being taken through the pertaining issues to be equipped with the right information and play their roles in attaining the MDG 4 and 5 by 2015.

She stressed on the need to involve such NGOs and CBOs in such national health interventions since they worked from the grassroots and related more with community members.

Source: GNA

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