As compared to 58 deaths out of 30,945 deliveries in Ghana’s Eastern Region in the first half of 2016, the region has recorded 61 maternal deaths out of 31,380 deliveries in the same period this year.
This is according to Dr. Mrs. Charity Sarpong, the Eastern Regional Director of Health Services.
She made the revelation at a mid-year performance review meeting with the theme: Improving Maternal Health Care Delivery in the Region – the Critical Role of Health Professionals.
Dr. Mrs. Sarpong said, considering the efforts being put into the country’s maternal health, its continuous rise is disturbing.
She said, “we find this unacceptable since several interventions have been put in place to improve maternal health.’’
According to Dr. Mrs. Sarpong, further efforts such a assigning more obstetricians/gynecologist specialists, building capacity of health staff on safe motherhood protocols and setting up a maternal and Neonatal Audit Implementation and Tracking Committee have been instituted have been instituted to help curb the issue.
Dr. Sarpong added that, data management of maternal health has improved significantly at all levels with respect to data entry, timeliness, quality and surveillance activities.
Dr Sarpong said with support from the Ghana Health Service and USAID, the Eastern region successfully implemented the Last Mile Distribution Project which seeks to improve logistics and medicines availability in the health facilities across the districts in the Eastern Region.
Concerning some major challenges contributing to the problem, the Regional Director mentioned the shortage of critical staff especially in the rural communities, poor infrastructure, as well as lack of ambulances during emergencies and prompt referrals, and inadequate funds.
Proffering some solutions to help address the issue of maternal mortality, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director Family Health, indicated that skilled delivery, newborn care, adolescent health, nutrition and immunization amongst others, are key.
Dr. Kuma-Aboagye also urged the regional health administration to take advantage of new initiatives in training midwives in limited Ultrasonography, task sharing, as well as new WHO recommendations to improve maternal health outcomes.
A speech read on behalf of the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Eric Kwakye Darfour, stated that, there is more to be done to meet the sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 which seeks to provide good health and wellbeing for all.
According to him government acknowledges the challenges faced by health practitioners in the course of their duties.