Maternal, neonatal deaths reduce in E/R

The Eastern Regional Health Service recorded a decline in institutional maternal deaths and neonatal deaths for 2021.

Regional Health Director Dr Winfred Ofosu revealed that the mortality rate decreased to 112.1 in 2021 from the 146.1 in 2020 while institutional neonatal deaths declined from 8.2 per thousand live births in 2020 to 6.7 deaths per 1000 live births in 2021.

The death rate, however, remains stagnant at 13.3 percent for 2020 and 13.4 percent in 2021.

These were made known at a review meeting in the capital, Koforidua.

Theme for the 2021 review was: ‘Building A Resilient Health System for Maternal and New-born Care: The Role of Stakeholders’.

Dr Ofosu explained the consistent loss of high numbers of women due to pregnancy and its complications in the region informed the theme.

He said the solutions emanating from the team of healthcare providers in the Region were on course and acknowledged the progress made.

“Although implementation of actions has begun, we deem it very important and necessary to get all stakeholders on board in a quest to building a resilient system that would ensure consistent and system reduction of preventable maternal and neo natal deaths in the region. We believe that in recent times we have the capacity to achieve much more better results in this area.”

The Eastern Region Minister, Seth Acheampong, urged the health workers to put more efforts in place to reduce maternal and neonatal deaths.

“Every single maternal death adversely affect the family, community and the entire nation. It is always a sad moment when a woman carries a baby in the womb for nine months with all the attendant problems only to lose the baby after delivery.”

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The regional minister, therefore, announced the holistic assessment score for the region and commended the health workers for the feat chalked.

The Region scored a 3.9 percent in 2021 under the holistic assessment, an improvement from the 3.6 in 2020.

The Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, said on the national front, institutional maternal mortality increased slightly from 106 per 100,000 live births in 2020 to 112 in 2021 whereas neonatal death rates rose from 7.6 percent to 7.9 percent.

He was of the view the improvement of care at primary health facilities would help reduce the numbers.

“These are the services that we believe that if we improve the primary level through the network of practice we can really reverse this trend.”

For the past four years, the Ghana Health Service adopted the holistic assessment model, where regions assess the performance of each other using the peer review mechanism.

The initiative is to ensure that the performance of the regions are independently assessed to give fair results.

Under the holistic assessment model 83 selected indicators and four milestones are used to assess performance on regions, graded on a scale of one to five.

The 2021 year of review under the holistic model was under the leadership of Ghana Health Service personnel from the Western North Region.

By Yvonne Neequaye||Ghana