C/R records 61 maternal deaths for last year

The Central Region recorded a total of 61 maternal deaths across the various hospitals and clinics last year.

The same figure was recorded in 2013, while in 2012, the region recorded 64 maternal deaths.

The Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Samuel T. Kwashie, announced this at the 2014 Annual Performance Review Conference of the Directorate in Cape Coast.

This year’s conference was on the theme, “Streng-thening sub-district health systems for the attainment of targeted outcomes”.

The three-day conference discussed vital issues concerning the health sector, looked at the performance of the various health facilities over the past year and adopted strategies that would enhance the health delivery system in the region.

Three distinguished personalities who contributed their quota towards the development of the health sector in the region were honoured for their contribution to the cause of humanity, in a maiden awards ceremony.

They are Dr. Nana Ato Arthur, former Central Regional Minister and Member of Parliament for Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA), Madam Ama Benyiwa Doe, former Central Regional Minister and a member of the Council of State and Dr. Benoni Kweku Bondzi-Simpson, the first Ghanaian Central Regional Officer of Health.

They each received a citation and a plaque, in recognition of their immense contribution to the development of the health sector in the region.

Dr. Kwashie further explained that, the regional health directorate was working hard towards ensuring that the disturbing phenomenon of maternal mortality is reduced this year.

He expressed concern about the refusal of medical doctors to accept postings to the Central Region, and explained that the trend is affecting the human resource base which is critical to effective health delivery.

Besides, he said that only six out of 22 medical officers, and two dental surgeons out of four dental surgeons posted to the region in 2014 reported for duty.

He said a total of 106 health staff which comprised 23 midwives, 32 nurses, four physician assistants and four accountants retired from the service; 29 including 16 nurses and three midwives vacated their posts; five others resigned from the service, while 18 deaths were recorded.

Dr. Kwashie further said that the HIV prevalence rate in the Central Region which increased from 1.7 per cent in 2010 to 4.7 per cent in 2011, saw a reduction to 1.9 per cent in 2012 and 1.1 per cent in 2013.

On the cholera disease, he said the region recorded 3,846 cases of cholera with 60 deaths in 2014 from 16 out of the 20 districts, thereby making the region the second highest in the country.

The cholera outbreak, according to Dr. Kwashie, was the worst in over 10 years, and said that four cases of cholera with no death was recorded in January this year, from two districts.

Touching on some challenges confronting the service, he said that the non payment of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) claims for an average of seven months per health facility, was affecting the effective performance of the facilities.

Dr Kwashie further mentioned the lack of accommodation for the increasing number of health staff posted to the region, and office accommodation for some district health directorates.

The Central Regional Minister, Aquinas Tawiah Quansah, in an address read on his behalf, expressed his appreciation to health practitioners in the region for their dedicated service in ensuring quality health delivery.

He expressed the commitment of the Regional Co-ordinating Council’s resolve to support initiatives that would promote health care in the region.

From David O. Yarboi-Tetteh, Cape Coast

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