Ghana records increase in neonatal and maternal deaths – GHS

Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye

The Ghana Health Service (GHS), has recorded an increase in neonatal and maternal deaths between January to June 2021, as against the same period in 2020, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director-General of the GHS, has disclosed.

He said “the maternal deaths situation worsened as it increased from 392 in 2020 to 427 in 2021, resulting in an institutional maternal mortality rate of 8.93 per 1000 live births in the country.

Still birth rate stands at 11.9 per cent in 2021, a decrease from 12.2 per cent in 2020,” he said.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye revealed this when he gave the mid-year performance review at the Ghana Health Service 2021 second Senior Managers Meeting (SMM2) in Accra.

The three-day meeting is on the theme: “Improving Service Delivery in a Pandemic: the Role of Participatory Planning and Budgeting”.

The SMM2 serves as a platform for an in-depth participatory discussion of policies and priorities for 2022 planning and budgeting.

It also seeks to ascertain the fiscal space available for service sustainability and recovery, as well as demonstrate transparency and accountability in the use of COVID-19 resources, among others.

He said inadequate infrastructure, staff, weak clinical emergency response systems, inadequate regional offices for the newly created regions, transportation means, as well as inadequate funding in health facilities contributed to the tragic situation.

He called for the need to align to policy changes at the sectoral level to achieve the needed results and impact on the overall health system performance.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye noted that despite the failures and challenges confronting health delivery especially with the outbreak and spread of the COVID-19, the GHS recorded successes in some health indicators.

He said even though the situation had not stabilized yet, attention needed to be focused on the challenging task of developing credible and equitable plans and budgets that would address the challenges of health service delivery.

The Service during the period under review has been able to widen geographical access to healthcare and health services, overhauled the medical oxygen supply chain system.

It has also received more COVID-19 vaccines, the service was honoured with the Africa Procurement and Supply Chain award, as well as recruited over 30,000 health professionals among others, he added.

The Director-General said notwithstanding these strides, much remained to be done to offset the impact of the pandemic on health service delivery.

He urged all the managers to keep up with their relentless efforts and contributions to improve the provision of health care services, ensuring that quality Universal Health Coverage was not compromised.

Dr Emmanuel A. Odame, Director, Policy, Planning Monitoring and Evaluation, Ministry of Health, representing the Minister of Health, called for improved efforts to consolidate the gains made to address challenges confronting the quality of health care delivery in the country.

Mr Patrick Nomo, the Chief Director, Ministry of Finance, charged all health managers to device innovative systematic approaches in the implementation of strategies as well as the use of resources to find solutions to health issues.

Participants at the meeting include GHS regional managers, development partners, stakeholders and the media.

Source: GNA

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