Ashanti Region makes progress in reducing maternal deaths

PregnantAshanti Region is making progress in the fight to reduce the incidence of maternal deaths, Dr Alexis M. Nang-Beifubah, the Regional Health Director, has said.

From the 235 deaths as experienced in 2011, cases have dropped to 184, in 2014, a figure, marginally beyond the targeted 185 per every 100,000 live births set under the Millennium Development Goals.

Dr Nang-Beifubah said although “we can boldly say we have already exceeded the target, we are not happy because the mortality rate still remains high”.

He told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Kumasi that the health authorities are determined to work with zeal and passion, to significantly bring down the figure.

He identified eclampsia (blood pressure associated with pregnancy), ruptured uterus, sepsis (blood infection) and septic abortion as the main causes of the maternal deaths.

Added to these, he said, are severe malaria, delay in recognising danger signs, timely decision-taking, getting transport and prompt attention at the health facilities.

Dr Nang-Beifubah announced the establishment of a maternal health taskforce to closely monitor and report on maternal health issues for appropriate responses.

He said the region has established a pilot “maternal waiting home” in the Bosome-Freho District, where pregnant women about to deliver would stay and wait to be conveyed to the hospital as soon as they are in labour.

This, he said, would be replicated in all the districts across the region.

He spoke of plans to fully equip the various health centres to efficiently deal with emergencies and reduce the number of cases referred to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.

He appealed to women to pay attention to their health during pregnancy and should not overlook danger signs when detected.

He said they should also refrain from unsafe abortion and ensure that they patronise the comprehensive abortion clinics.

Source: GNA

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