The first batch of midwives being trained at the Tamale Midwifery School would complete their programme at the end of the year, Dr Kwesi Twumasi, Northern Regional Director of Ghana Health Service, has said.
He said the midwives would be dispatched to the various districts to augment the few midwives available and help reduce maternal mortality.
Dr Twumasi said this at a press briefing on the health issues and how the directorate and its partners were collaborating to address some of the health challenges in the region on Wednesday.
Dr Twumasi said some 32 persons were undergoing training in the two midwifery schools in Wa and Bolgatanga as part of measures to boost the midwifery strength in the three Northern Regions.
“Maternal death is one of our biggest headaches in the region and we are doing all we can to help reduce the rate from 115 in 2011 to a single digit” he said.
He said as at the end of the first half of the year 2012, the directorate had recorded 70 deaths which were mainly caused by hemorrhage, anemia and delays.
Dr Twumasi said most of the expectant mothers visit antenatal but don’t deliver at the various hospitals and advised pregnant women to deliver at hospitals saying “the region has a peculiar practice where pregnant women live with their partners and when they are due to deliver, their husbands ask them to go and live with their parents in the village where there is little to do when there is complications such as hemorrhage during delivery”.
He said socio-cultural practices, unmotorable roads and ignorance were some of the obstacles derailing the regions efforts to reduce maternal deaths in the area.