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Health News of Monday, 27 March 2017


Maternal mortality rate reduces at KATH despite challenges

Maternal mortality rate at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) reduced from 10.56 per 100,000 live births in 2015 to 10.20 per 100,000 live births in 2016.

This followed a drop in maternal deaths from 102 in 2015 to 91 in 2016.

The Chief Executive of KATH, Dr Joseph Akpaloo, who made this known at the opening ceremony of the hospital’s 2016 end-of-year performance review workshop in Kumasi, said the achievement was the fifth straight year that maternal death rate had fallen at the hospital.

In recent times, the hospital has attracted media attention due to congestion at the Mother and Baby Department of the hospital. Due to the crowding, some of the sick newborns are virtually packed in threes and fours in one incubator.

Pregnant women and mothers sleep on floors and benches.

The unacceptable situation persists while work on a 1,000-bed capacity Maternal and Children’s Block, started 40 years ago for the hospital, is at a standstill.

Tracing the trajectory of achievements, Dr Akpaloo said from a ratio of 12.55 per 100,000 per live births in 2012, the rate dropped to 11.30 in 2013, 10.87 in 2014, 10.56 in 2015 and 10.20 in 2016.

He attributed the success attained to the retraining and dedication of staff of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Directorate and the establishment of a dedicated blood bank for the directorate.

Dr Akpaloo added that another reason for the progress was because KATH provided specialist support and training to 22 medical facilities in Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Eastern, Central and Western regions, which usually referred cases to KATH.

The specialist training and support, he explained, helped those hospitals to better manage obstetric and paediatric emergencies.

“We are most grateful to DANIDA for funding the above outreach activities to the district hospitals through the Millennium Accelerated Framework (MAF) programme of the Ministry of Health,” he added.

Dr Akpaloo placed on record that the specialists and consultants at the KATH were ready and willing to work even harder to further bring down the rates of maternal and neonatal deaths in the country at large.

He said all that the hospital required was support, especially for the completion of the 40-year-old Maternal and Children’s Block project so that “we will have better facilities and space to offer the needed clinical interventions in the area of paediatric and maternal health care”.

“On this score, the management and staff of the hospital are most grateful to the government for declaring its full commitment towards the completion of the project,” he added.

Dr Akpaloo said another area which the hospital made strides was surgical operations which stood at 18,420 in 2016 as against 16,513 in 2015 which translated into 11.45 per cent increase.

He added that specialist outpatient department services also hiked from 240,920 in 2015 to 261,038 cases in 2016, while radiotherapy services recorded in 2016 were 6,697 cases as against 6,485 cases.