In spite of the several strategies, put in place to prevent maternal mortality in the Eastern Region, the region still recorded 108 maternal deaths in 2017 as against 102 and 104 in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
This means that approximately nine women and girls die from pregnancy related causes and childbirth in the region every month.
The issue of pregnant related deaths have been of concern to health professionals in the region for some time.
During the half year review of the year 2017, it was the major topic for discussion as it was revealed that some of such deaths could have been prevented by health facilities and patients alike.
Dr Charity Sarpong, Regional Director of Health Services, who disclosed this at the Regional Annual Performance Review meeting in Koforidua, said it was unfortunate that “our efforts to prevent maternal mortality in the region have not achieved the desired results”.
She said in order to reduce pregnancy related deaths, her outfit instituted interventions such as the PICCAM strategy, zoning the region into five, with each zone being assigned an obstetrician/Gynaecologist specialist to increase access to quality health care.
Dr Sarpong who described the situation as unfortunate, said in furtherance of their resolve to reduce maternal deaths, staff capacities were built on safe motherhood protocols and a maternal and neonatal audit implementation and tracking committee instituted.
According to the Regional Director, most of the deaths were avoidable, citing religion, cultural practices, bad roads that delayed referrals and lack of ambulances as some of the challenges, and indicated that strengthening of the sub district health teams would be key to their strategies.
She said despite the unfortunate maternal deaths, the region however performed well generally, in especially in the area of Community Health Planning Services (CHPS) centres.
The Meeting was attended by medical doctors, medical directors, nurses, midwives and other health staffs from across the region to take stock of the 2017 performance.
It was on the theme: “Improving Maternal Healthcare Delivery in the Region -The Critical Role of Health Professionals.”
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