Mr Samuel Nuertey Ayertey, the Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, has called on health workers in the Eastern Region to strive to achieve zero maternal mortality.
Mr Ayertey was speaking at the formal opening of the 2018 Eastern Regional Annual Performance Review Meeting of the Ghana Health Service(GHS) at Koforidua.
He commended the health staff in the region for their performance which has led to the reduction in the rate of maternal mortality in the region in 2018 and also the Koforidua Regional Hospital for winning the best regional hospital in the country award for the year under review.
Mr Ayertey urged managers of health facilities in the region to improve upon their data collection and management.
He also called on health staff to support the programme of government to use drones to supply emergency drugs and blood to health facilities in hard to reach areas.
Ms Araba Kudiabor, who represented the Director General of the Ghana Health Service(GHS), said this year, the GHS would explore a new financial arrangements to ensure that the country attains universal health coverage at the primary level of the health service delivery.
She said the financial arrangement that would be channelled through the National Health Insurance Scheme would be communicated to the regional, district and private maternity homes in the course of the year.
Ms Kudiabor said recent surveys in 2017 indicate that infant mortality in the country has dropped from 41 per 1000 life births in 2014 to 37 per 1000 life births in 2017, under five mortality rate had gone down from 60 per 1000 in 2014 to 52 per 1000 life birth in 2017 and maternal motality ratio is 310 per 100,000 life birth for 2017.
She urged regional and district health managers to ensure that they capture data from both private and public facilities in their areas for all service delivery to ensure that challenges are easily identified for the necessary remedies.
She said during the year, the service would embark on a training to help overcome the poor leadership facing management at the district levels.
Ms Kudiabor said the service would print out the code of conduct of the GHS and make it available to staff from national to the facility level to make staff abreast with the code and would ensure the enforcement of the code to ensure discipline within the service.
She said the distribution of a pick up to each district and the provision of motorbike to each sub- district would continue this year.
Mr Reynolds Tinkorang of the GHS Council said last year, the council gave approval for the employment of a number of health staff and managed to get Parliament to increase the budgetary allocation for the GHS for 2019.
He said the council is also working closely with government for the promotion of health tourism in the country in the ECOWAS sub-region.
Dr Alberta Adjabeng Bretwum Nyarko, the Eastern Regional Director of Health Services, said the region faces a shortage of staff at all levels and supporting staff had not been recruited since 2012.
She said the region also has logistical problems- old vehicles and motorbikes, some of which break down on their way to deliver services.
Dr Nyarko said despite the challenges, the staff and management are doing their best to offer the best health services delivery to the people in the region.