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Upper East recorded 32 maternal deaths in 2012

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Since the inception of the Free Maternal Healthcare Policy in 2008 to help achieve the Millennium Development Goal 5 by 2015, access to Ante-Natal Care and Post Natal Care has been increased in the country. The introduction of the policy has also seen access to supervised and skilled deliveries enhanced.

However, with the introduction of free maternal health care in Ghana, 75 women a week still die during childbirth. 32 maternal deaths were recorded last year in the Upper East Region. Since the beginning of this year, 11 maternal deaths have been recorded.

This is as a result of anaemia in pregnancy, hypertension, severe malaria haemorrhage, unsafe abortion and many more. Some of the challenges that confront safe maternal delivery in the region include limited facilities, inadequate health staff, poor road network and lack of reliable transport system.

In order to help address the challenges of maternal health care delivery in the region, the Social Enterprise Development Foundation (SEND-Ghana) has organized a one-day stakeholders’ workshop to seek strategies and solutions from National Health Insurance Scheme in the region so as to improve on the implementation process of the free maternal health care.

Mr. Alagskomah Asakeya Noble, Vice Chairman of Coalition of NGOs in Health in the Upper East Region called for the provision of adequate ambulances by the Municipal and District Assemblies and Ghana Health Service for the smooth running of health care in the region.

He was of the conviction that if health facilities are improved, more health professionals trained, road network improved, the role of Traditional Birth Assistants redefined and their capacities built, Ghana would find herself in a good position to attain the MDG 5 which seeks to improve maternal health by 2015.

Mr. Eugene Yibour, Upper East Regional Programme Officer of SEND-Ghana disclosed that a similar programme was organized last year to enhance mutual trust, respect, transparency and accountability among stakeholders in the operations of the NHIS and general health care delivery in the region with particular reference to maternal health.

The Deputy Director, Clinical Care for the region Dr. Ernest Opoku hinted that 45 midwives are being trained in the region to help address maternal issues.

 Credit: William Nlanjerborr Jalulah | Ghana

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