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Health News of Saturday, 14 August 2021

Source: ghanaiantimes.com.gh

Pregnancy-related deaths decline in hospitals

Pregnancy related deaths are still a challenge even with the decline Pregnancy related deaths are still a challenge even with the decline

The number of women who died in various health facilities across the country from pregnancy-related deaths declined slightly from 118 in 2019 to 106 in 2020, per every 100,000 live births.

According to the Ghana Health Service (GHS), the figure was the lowest ever recorded within the last decade, in spite of the increase in number of deliveries during the year.

Neonatal mortality rates in health institutions, on the contrary, shot up to 6.8 per 1,000 live births compared to 5.8 in 2019.

The Director-General, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, disclosed this at the opening of this year’s Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition Conference (MCHN) in Accra yesterday.

On the theme; “Sustaining reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH) and nutrition service delivery and resilient health systems in health emergencies and beyond,” the three-day conference seeks to discuss ways of building synergies and closing gaps in service delivery to improve maternal, child, adolescent health and nutrition services in the country.

It is hosting key groups including policymakers, development partners, healthcare professionals, service providers, civil society organizations (CSOs) and faith-based organizations, to discuss ways of forging a resilient healthcare system, in coming years.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye pointed out that the proportion of maternal deaths audited for 2020 was 96.6 percent, much higher than the national target of 90 percent and that, was promising to better understand causes of maternal and perinatal deaths and inform policy, programmes and quality of care to reduce Ghana’s maternal mortality ratio (MMR).

A major contributor to MMR, he observed, was adolescent pregnancy, saying, “although the Service recorded a marginal decline in the proportion of adolescent pregnancies from 11.7 in 2019 to 11.2 in 2020, it stills remain a challenge.”

“The 15-19 year group continues to contribute the largest to the proportion of adolescent pregnancy recorded in the year under review,” he submitted.

Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye said, "many factors outside the health system contributed to present outcomes and “as we continue to roll out comprehensive actions to sustain gains in the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response and strengthen service delivery in what has become our new normal way of life, we must as well scaleup advocacy to increase the buy-in of key stakeholders to improve nutritional status and survival of women and children in the country.”

The Chief of Staff, Mrs Akosua Frema Opare, delivering the keynote address, expressed the government’s resolve to build a resilient healthcare system, capable of withstanding future health emergencies.

She disclosed that the government would next week cut sod for the commencement of various hospital projects under its “Agenda 111” plan, as part of measures to boost the country’s health infrastructure.

Mrs Opare said while the government was committed to achieving global health targets and strategies to safeguard the health of the populace, health authorities and workers must give off their best.

“The health of the people depends on the work you do. Let us work together to ensure that becoming a mother is a joyful experience rather than a suicide mission for the pregnant woman and that the health and wellbeing of all, is secured,” she said.

A Deputy Minister of Health, Tina Naa Ayeley Mensah, underscored the role of research and research institutions in guarding against public health emergencies in future and called for close collaboration with the health delivery system to improve standards, client friendliness, equitable and quality care.