Maternal cases increase in Sekondi-Takoradi -MCE

Mr. K.K. Sam interacting with Ms. Joyce Babina, STMA Director of Health Service

Mr. K.K. Sam interacting with Ms. Joyce Babina, STMA Director of Health Service

The Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) for Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA), Anthony K.K Sam, has raised concern about the high rate of maternal mortality cases in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis.

He said though there have been a decrease in neonatal cases in hospitals from 30.3  per cent to 26.9 per cent per 1000 admissions, deaths among children born less than one month was on the rise – translating into 19.2 per cent of 1000 live births.

Mr. Sam raised these concerns at the second ordinary meeting of the third session of the seventh STMA meeting which ended, on Thursday.

He revealed that maternal deaths also increased from 12 deaths in 2017 (half year) to 17 deaths during the same period this year, whilst five pregnant women were referred to the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital from other surrounding districts.

He explained that transportation challenges, religious beliefs and delays by patients and their relatives contributed significantly to late referral cases to health facilities.

“Bleeding after birth, unsafe abortion and pregnant women with hypertension are the cause of most deaths that could have been prevented.

There is also the need for voluntary blood donation to support the hospitals to save lives of our women, and, I believe members can support in this area.” Mr. Sam added.

On clinical and public health services, he said, the Out-Patients-Department (OPD) attendance and admissions increased slightly in the first half of 2018 compared to 2017 while antenatal registrants dropped from 6,278 to 6,236.

He added that 69 per cent of the pregnant women registered were teenagers.

Skilled delivery, he told the house, went up by 203 deliveries with coverage of 20.1 per cent, adding that “hopefully it will improve our position on the district league table”.

On HIV and AIDS, the MCE cautioned that although the assembly made some strides, the situation was still not the best and called for more efforts to stem the trend.

Mr. Sam reported that the 2017 sentinel survey report showed that HIV prevalence rate in the metropolis dropped from 3.0 in 2016 to 1.6, lower than the regional figure of 2.4 and the national prevalence rate of 2.1.

He stressed that, “we should not be carried away by this achievement and I wish to appeal to this House to encourage every citizen to get tested for HIV to know their status and seek early treatment if possible.

This is the only way we can as a metropolis and a nation eliminate HIV by the 2030”.

He said the Metropolitan AIDS Committee organised a review meeting with key stakeholders on September 14 to take stock and design strategies for the last quarter of 2018 and beyond.

According to him, the Metropolitan AIDS Committee had been re-constituted pursuant to the Ghana AIDS Commission Act, 2016 (Act 938) and was awaiting inauguration by the Commission.

Commenting on waste management, Mr. Sam said the situation was not encouraging and declared “we are not winning the war against environmental cleanliness”.

To improve the situation, he announced that every household and stores in the central business district (CBD) should acquire litter bins and STMA’s Waste Management Department would introduce the Borla Taxi concept.

He appealed to landlords to construct household toilets, adding that the assembly was liaising with the Judicial Service to create sanitation courts to prosecute those who breach sanitation bye-laws.

The Presiding Member, John Buckman called for measures to check environmental degradation, indiscriminate dumping of refuse into drains and the practice of open defecation.

FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, SEKONDI

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