General News of Thursday, 28 December 2017
The Brong-Ahafo Regional Health Directorate (RHD) has made progress in the prevention of maternal mortality in the Region, by recording 59 maternal deaths in 2017, which is 18 deaths less than the 2016 figure of 77.
Dr. Osei Kuffour Afreh, a Deputy Regional Director responsible for Public Health, said at a one-day regional maternal deaths audit conference organised by the RHD of the Ghana Health Service on Wednesday in Sunyani.
The conference, attended by representatives of the Regional Coordinating Council, traditional and religious leaders, the Ghana Private Road and Transport Union and the media, discussed issues of maternal deaths to identify ways to reduce its occurrence to the barest minimum in the Region.
Dr Afreh observed that even though there had been reduction in 2017 as compared to 2016, the situation was still unacceptable since it was possible for the Region and the nation in general to record zero incidence if more efforts were made by heath personnel to save lives.
“If China with the highest population of over 1.3 billion recorded less than two maternal deaths for over five years why can’t Ghana with a population of 27 million record zero case of maternal death?” he quizzed.
Dr. Afreh stated that Techiman Municipality recorded the highest cases of 13, Sunyani Municipality nine and Pru District eight, and added that haemorrhage and hypertension had been identified as the two major causes of the menace in the Region.
He expressed worry that the situation was so pathetic because women in their prime ages between 25-29 who were just from school and gotten marriage were dying in their first pregnancy and child-birth.
Dr Afreh said though there were lots of complications that set in during pregnancies, the situation could be better with a change of attitude by health service staff and the pregnant mothers.
Mothers who attended ante-natal clinics were the most affected, he said and explained that 85 per cent of those who were regular at the clinics died this year as against 86 per cent in 2016.
Dr Afreh stressed that the situation needed to be critically examined to ensure that past mistakes were not repeated.
He advised health personnel to have a change of attitude, be more professional in their performances and be innovative to help save lives at their various hospitals.
Some participants later at a forum suggested that health personnel, especially Midwives must be empowered and strengthened with the necessary logistics to ensure intensive proper monitoring and prompt referrals.
They suggested that community ambulance services must be established and all road networks, particularly in the rural setting be improved by the Assemblies to ensure quick transport of referrals.
The participants appealed to government to help the Region with the establishment of an Intensive Care Unit at the Sunyani Regional Hospital to