Interventions on maternal health in E/R underway

The Eastern Region recorded 61 maternal deaths out of 31,380 deliveries in the first six months of this year.

For the same period in 2016, there were 58 deaths out of 30,945 deliveries while in 2015, there were 52 deaths with 30,220 deliveries.

In view of this, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has described the situation as unacceptable and, therefore, put in place several interventions to improve maternal health.

These interventions include the demarcation of the Eastern Region into five zones, with each zone assigned an obstetrician and a gynaecologist who will provide support in diverse forms as and when necessary.

Also, the capacity of health personnel will be built, as well as the setting up of maternal and neonatal audit implementation and tracking committees to follow up and ensure that recommendations made during maternal mortality audits are implemented.

The Eastern Regional Director of the GHS, Dr Mrs Charity Sarpong, made these known while addressing a mid-year review meeting of the directorate in Koforidua last Wednesday.

She said to further enhance efforts in addressing the challenges of high maternal deaths, all midwives in charge of labour units and specialists were invited to attend the review meeting to plan the way forward.

She mentioned some other challenges that hindered work to include the shortage of critical staff, especially in the rural and hard-to-reach areas, dilapidated and poor infrastructure, lack of ambulances for prompt referrals and inadequate funds.

Success story

Dr Mrs Sarpong said despite the challenges, the region had chalked up some successes, including an improvement in data management at all levels and surveillance activities, which had gone a long way to enable the directorate to achieve its targets.

She noted that to improve logistics and the availability of medicines in health facilities, the region, with support from the GHS and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), had successfully implemented the Last Mile Distribution Project which involves service delivery points making requests based on their needs.

She said to improve upon the care of newborns, including pre-term babies, the region, as part of an ongoing project, had trained 845 staff in newborn care and had also put in place a first-class Kangaroo Mother Care Centre at the Koforidua Regional Hospital and the Nsawam Government Hospital.

Aknowledgement

Dr Mrs Sarpong thanked all stakeholders, including health workers who continued to work hard despite the challenges, and hoped they would continue to work harder to support better care delivery in the region.

The Deputy Director-General of the GHS, Dr Mrs Gloria Quansah-Asare, urged the participants to come out with ideas on how to improve health delivery in the region.

In a speech read on his behalf, the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Eric Kwakye Darfour, said although there had been an improvement in the health sector over the years, the sector still had to work hard to meet the Sustainable Development Goal (SGD) Three, which seeks to provide good health and well-being for all people.

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