Dr Braimah Abubakari, the Deputy Regional Director in charge of Clinical health of the Ghana health Service (GHS), has said the region recorded 132 maternal deaths last year due to maternity related issues.
He said 72 deaths were also been recorded between January-June this year and called for a joint effort by all stakeholders to address the situation to save lives.
Dr Abubakari said this after he received various items and medicines from the Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) worth GH¢152,242.63, which included tri-cycle ambulances and medicines.
He said in 2015 the Ghana Health Service put the maternal mortality rate at 319/100,000 live births and that the number was particularly high in the Northern Region hence the need for a concerted effort to address the situation.
He attributed the high mortality rates in Northern Ghana to the long distances one had to undertake to visit the health centres while many of the communities were cut off particularly in the rainy season.
He said many of the women in labour were carried to the clinics either on motor bikes or on donkey carts adding that “the terrain is so bad that the National Ambulance Service cannot operate here as many of the women are anaemic”.
Dr Braimah said “when blood levels are low in pregnant women, a little loss of blood during delivery can be catastrophic and this and other reasons necessitated the CCFC PROMISE project, which is funded by the Canadian government”.
Mr George Baiden, Country Director of CCFC, who presented the items, said the goal of the CCFC-PROMISE project is to contribute to the reduction in maternal and child mortality in the northern region by improving the delivery of essential services to mothers, pregnant women, new-borns and children under five years.
He said the aim was also to help improve the utilization of essential health services by mothers, pregnant women, new-borns and children under five years, and this would thereby increase the consumption of nutritious food and supplements.
He said as part of the effort medicines and tri-cycle ambulances have been distributed to the targeted health facilities and that the medicines, which included folic acid, vitamin A, multivitamins dewormers and anti-malaria, will go a long way to improve the health of women, pregnant women, newborns and children under five.
Mr Baiden said the tri-cycles would help to carry pregnant women in complicated situations to government hospitals.
He said the project was implemented by the Assemblies of God, Relief and Development Services (AGREDS) and the Tuma Kavi Development Association (TKDA)-all Tamale based NGOs.