Western Region records reduction in maternal deaths

The Western Regional Health Directorate in 2019 recorded 61 maternal deaths as against 81 in 2018.

Naa Jacob Mahama the Regional Health Director who made this known at the Regional Health Service 2019 Annual Performance Review Meeting in Takoradi said the Effiankwanta hospital recorded majority of the cases since it was a referral hospital.

The review meeting on the theme: “Strengthening the Sub-district Health Systems: A key Strategy to Improving Health Outcomes in Western Region” was attended by district, municipal and metropolitan health directors, nurses, traditional authorities and some heads of departments.

He said apart from the maternal deaths, other reproductive health indicators such as Antenatal Care, did not meet the set target.

Naa Mahama said supervised deliveries recorded a decrease from 59.5 percent in 2018 to 58.8 percent in 2019 while family planning increased slightly from 29.4 percent in 2018 to 30.5 percent in 2019.

The Regional Health Director noted that still-birth  continued to drop and that 1.8 percent was recorded in 2018 as against 1.02 percent in 2019 while early neonatal deaths dropped from 7.2 death per 1,000 live births in 2018 to 6 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2019.

Touching on polio virus, Naa Mahama said a number of measures including, sensitization and training of health workers, public education and the reactivation of the epidemic committee have been put in place to tackle the virus.

He said about 190,000 children under 18 months were targeted for the polio immunization in the region.

On measles, he said 221 suspected cases were recorded in seven districts out of which 13 cases were confirmed but stressed that the necessary measures have been put in place to avoid its spread.

Naa Mahama said everything was being done to reduce the prevalence of HIV and AIDS in the region, adding that, numerous trainings have been done as part of activities to achieve the endemic control of HIV and AIDS in the region.

Dr. Patrick Kuma Aboagye the Director-General, Ghana Health Service said as a service their primary objective was to prevent the spread of the COVIV-19 and that they were working with the Ministry of Health and other partners to prevent the spread of the virus into the country.

He said comprehensive measures have been put in place to prevent and handle cases and key among them was the training of port health staff and screening of passengers at the Kotoka International Airport.

Dr. Aboagye also stated that the Tema and Ridge hospitals staff were also being trained to handle COVID-19 cases in the country, adding that, an alert had been sent to all Regions and Districts, and the reactivation of the districts response teams to handle and prevent the virus from entering the country.

He said public perception about poor quality care especially in emergency situations still remained a worrying concern that the Service needed to address.

He was hopeful that with the introduction of the new ambulances, it would help reduce that perception.

Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Western Regional Minister, emphasized that sub-health directorates played a key role in implementing integrated health care and needed to be well equipped.

The Regional Minister hinted that government had developed a new attractive incentive package for health workers in deprived communities with a prime goal of retaining health personnel in such areas.

Nana Ankoma Tuagyan of the Sekondi Traditional Area who presided, said it sub-district health facilities could only be strengthened if proper measures were implemented.

He in this regard, appealed to the Regional Health Service Council to create sub district health directorates and provide them with Administrators or Directors to ease the work load on the Physician Assistants and Midwives who played such roles.

He stressed the need to resource the various health centres with technical staff and lauded the One District One Ambulance initiative.

He, however, expressed concern about the poor nature of the roads network in rural areas and called for the modification of the tricycles (Pragyia), which were being used as ambulances in some remote areas to save more lives.

Source: GNA

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