Health News of Tuesday, 26 February 2013
A total of 168 mothers out of 100,000 lost their lives in the process of child bearing in 2012 in the Eastern Region as against 207 mothers who died in 2011.
The figure indicates that 20 women were saved in 2012 from maternal deaths as compared to the previous year.
Dr McDamien Dedzo, the Regional Director of Health Service, disclosed this at the opening of an Annual Review Meeting in Koforidua on Tuesday.
He said the regional directorate had focused its attention on reducing maternal deaths and had been able to achieve that in most of its facilities.
Dr. Dedzo said the region strategised to reduce maternal deaths linked mainly to the three types of delays, which included delays at home and the health facility, by providing services to young people in the areas of adolescent and youth friendly health.
According to Dr Dedzo, in prompt response to maternal health, the regional health directorate had collaborated with stakeholders to provide community transport and ambulance services to pregnant women in emergency, and that had culminated in the improvement of pregnancy outcomes in the regions.
He said mother- to- child transmission of HIV had also improved since more women now accept to know their HIV status during pregnancy, and systems put in place throughout the region to offer healthcare to such women to prevent transmission of HIV to unborn babies.
However, he said in the area of child care and infant death, the region recorded 447 deaths of children below five years out of 9,623 infant admissions, which were not different from what was recorded in the previous year and hoped that more efforts would be channel to that area to reduce such deaths.
Mrs Gloria Amoako, a UNICEF representative, said maternal and infant mortalities were socio-economic issues that needed the efforts of all to ensure its reduction to the barest minimum.
She noted that as a partner, the UNICEF had supported several interventions of the Ghana Health Service in achieving that objective.
Mrs Amoako said one area that must also be improved as a component in reducing maternal and infant deaths is nutrition, especially among pregnant women and children since malnutrition had been identified to be one of the factors in both maternal and infant deaths.
Nana Osae Nyarko, Omanhene of Boso-Gua, said despite challenges in the health sector, heath personal must endeavor to move beyond that and work hard to prevent and reduce avoidable deaths.
He said the Ghana Health Service must work hard to erase the negative perceptions by the public about their service as a move to strengthen the relationship between the service providers and their clients for effective health delivery.