Monday, March 1, 2010


THE Brong Ahafo Region recorded 94 maternal deaths last year as against 81 and 87 recorded in 2008 and 2007, respectively.
Haemorrhage (serious bleeding inside a person’s body) is the leading cause of the death in the region.
Besides, 50 per cent of all the deaths were also recorded in the three referral health facilities in the region, namely the Sunyani Regional, the Techiman Holy Family and Berekum Holy Family Hospitals.
The situation also calls into question the availability of skilled staff who handle emergency cases in these facilities.
The Regional Health Directorate has, therefore, called for the revival of the maternal mortality task force set up to support facilities to analyse causes and contributions of death and to impart skills to help reduce the increase in maternal deaths in the region.
The Regional Director of Health Services, Dr Aaron Offei, made this known at the opening of a two-day annual regional health performance review at Fiapre in the Sunyani West District.
It was on the theme: "Addressing the challenges of maternal and child health through quality and partnership."
Dr Offei, therefore, called for the promotion of district-based blood donation campaigns and sharing of stocks with sister facilities, since 50 per cent of all the maternal deaths recorded in the region were the result of haemorrhage while steps had also been taken to improve the blood stock in the system.
He attributed some of the maternal deaths recorded in the region to the delay in getting pregnant women to the health facilities as a result of poor transportation.
Consequently, Dr Offei said a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) had also been signed with the transport unions to offer services to pregnant women during emergencies whether they had money or not to help prevent some of such deaths.
He said the principle had been accepted and lauded by all and therefore expressed the hope that members of the transport unions would help in its implementation, since the programme had already taken off in some regions.
Touching on the under five mortality in the region, Dr Offei said Brong Ahafo ranked second to the Upper West Region.
He, therefore, called on the country’s development partners to support the region to improve its childhood health status.
The regional director said although the total number of doctors had improved, it had not affected the availability of doctors to the rural areas because most of them were house officers ready for posting soon after completing their housemanship.
He, therefore, appealed to the Ministry of Health and the Kintampo Rural Health Training School to let the region benefit from the posting of health personnel such as medical assistants, health information officers, technical officers, among others who were trained in the region.
Dr Offei announced that guinea worm cases also reduced significantly from 11 cases for the year under review to two, with one of the cases being imported, which indicated a 78 per cent reduction.
He disclosed further that the region had opened 88 antiretrovial centres across the region to offer treatment for HIV/AIDS cases.
Dr Offei said with support from the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP), the region was constructing regional medical stores which would be ready for use by May, this year.
The Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Eric Opoku, commended the staff of the health directorate and the various health facilities in the region for their dedicated services in ensuring quality delivery of health care in the region.
He gave the assurance that the government would provide health infrastructure, as well as motivation and incentive packages for health personnel to enhance health delivery in the country.
Mr Opoku expressed the hope that at the end of their deliberations, strategies would be developed to reduce, if not eliminate, maternal deaths in the region.
A representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Accra, Mrs Edith Annan, on behalf of development partners, was hopeful that they would turn their attention to the region this year to improve on the health status of the people, especially women and children.

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