Upper West records high rate of maternal deaths

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The Upper East Region has seen an increase in maternal deaths over the last three years, with 31 recorded in 2019, 36 in 2020, 43 in 2021, and 27 so far in 2022 as of the end of November 2022.

This was revealed by Dr. Emmanuel Kofi Dzotsi, Upper East Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), during the Second meeting of the Upper East Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) held in Bolgatanga.

According to Dr. Dzotsi, the majority of maternal deaths in the region were caused by a poor referral system, which resulted in unnecessary delays leading to complications and deaths.

He added that the situation is having a negative impact on the quality of healthcare delivery.

Dr. Dzotsi disclosed that the region’s referral system has been exacerbated by a lack of resources to fuel and maintain ambulances, as well as a poor road network.

As a result, he urged stakeholders, particularly the Municipal and District Assemblies in the region, to prioritize people’s healthcare and implement measures to ensure that ambulances always have fuel.

The Regional Director further stated that most healthcare facilities, particularly community-based health planning services (CHPS) compounds and health centers, are in terrible condition and urged the Assemblies to take action to renovate them and finish abandoned CHPS compounds in order to enhance the quality of healthcare delivery.

This, he said would hitherto support the network of practice that was to be introduced in the health system in the sub-districts which every health center would be upgraded to a model health center to work together with the CHPS compounds, clinics, and the pharmacies as one network providing healthcare to clients.

He explained that the support network system takes care of a sick person in the sub-districts as one network, except if the case is beyond them that they can refer to the district hospital.

Dr. Dzotsi also announced that “17 additional doctors had been posted to the region”, and appealed to the Assemblies to provide accommodation for them to enable them to stay and work in the region.

The meeting was to bring the Assemblies and the Departments together in a brainstorming session to proffer solutions to the myriad of challenges confronting the development of the region.

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