Tema health institutions halt 2018 maternal mortality in 2019

Health institutions in the Tema metropolis in 2019 halved maternal mortality recorded the previous year, documenting 18 deaths compared to the 36 in 2018.

Out of the figure, the Tema General Hospital (TGH) recorded 17 deaths while one was documented at Bethel Hospital.

Madam Priscilla Aboagye­Mensah, Tema Metropolitan Public Health Nurse at the Tema Metro Health Directorate (TMHD), disclosing this, said out of the 17 deaths recorded at the TGH, nine were ante­natal clinic (ANC) attendants of the hospital, two were brought in dead while the rest were referred cases.

Madam Aboagye­Mensah was making a presentation on the Metro’s reproductive and child health status for the year 2019, during TMHD’s two-day performance review.

She indicated that five of the cases were due to hypertensive complications, four haemorrhage, one sepsis, one VOC in sickle cell diseases, one post­partum seizures and one choriocarcinoma.

She noted that some of the contributory factors to maternal deaths in 2019 included delay in seeking help, lack of transport between health care facilities, lack of equipment or consumables, inadequate or lack of human resources, delay in instituting interventions and lack of expertise as well as inadequate knowledge and skills.

According to her, the success story behind the reduction in maternal mortality could be attributed to intensified health educations on radio, at stakeholders’ forum and at religious and female groups’ gatherings.

Others were holding of pregnancy schools in communities and churches, capacity building of health officials, new maternity block, and mortality audits at TGH and the region, in addition to adolescent health services and the implementation of recommendations from audits.

Meanwhile, the Directorate recorded a total of 293 still births made up of 158 fresh and 135 macerated still births as against a total of 9,365 births in 2019.

In a related development, the Research and Development Division of Ghana Health Service (GHS) with financial support from the USAID Evaluate for Health Project (E4H) started a research and completed in 2019 into institutional factors contributing to maternal death in the Tema metropolis for the year 2017.

The research which formed part of a capacity building programme, had the objectives of describing and analyzing contributory factors in relations to human resource, referral transport and communication, logistics and managerial with the use of a cross sectional method.

The research indicated that a total of 47 mortalities were recorded in the area in 2017 made up of 44 at the referral centre and three from private health institutions.

It added that four obstetricians, 18 midwives and nine managers who recorded the 47 deaths were respondents in the research.

It therefore recommended that there was an urgent need to address the human resource gap, personnel with adequate training should be deployed especially to the peripheries, and the need for Continuous Professional Development (CPDs) for existing staff. GNA

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