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Regional News Tue, 17 Jan 2012

C/R records slight reduction in maternal death in 2011

Cape Coast, Jan. 17, GNA – Dr Samuel Kwashie, Central Regional Director of Health Services, has said 74 maternal deaths were recorded across the region last year as compared to 77 cases in 2010.

Speaking during the 2011 Central Regional Health Services Performance Review Conference held in Cape Coast, he said although there was a slight reduction in maternal mortality, the difference was not something to make them proud.

The three-day conference, which is being attended by health officers, medical assistants, doctors, nurses, chiefs, student nurses and a cross section of the public is under the theme: “Strengthening the Health System towards Achieving the Millennium Development Goals”

Dr Kwashie said despite the fact that last year’s maternal mortality ratio was their second best in the past twenty years, that did not give them a cause to celebrate.

He said it was their conviction that every maternal death from a preventable cause was unacceptable and must not be allowed to happen.

He said the Region had associated itself with the Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA) and called on all Metropolitan Municipal and District Assembly (MMDAs) to honour their pledges to help eliminate maternal mortality, adding that 63.7 per cent of supervised delivery were recorded in the Region last year as against 60.8 percent in 2010 and 52.5 per cent in the previous year.

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Dr Kwashie said in 2011 only one confirmed case of measles was reported as compared to two positive cases in 2010 and one in 2009 and that this was a clear indication that the measles elimination campaign in the Region was succeeding.

He said the Region recorded a cholera outbreak last year - 243 reported cases and 13 deaths, as against 588 cases with 11 death in 2010 and stressed that the situation was now under control with the last case reported in mid December 2011.

He added that 177 cases of H1N1 influenza cases were also recorded last year as compared to 249 in 2010.

Dr Kwashie said malaria continues to be the highest reported medical condition at the Out-Patient Department in all health facilities in the Region and that it posed a major threat, especially to pregnant women and children under five years of age.

He said the Region welcomed the joint regional launch of the Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Bed Nets (LLITNs) hang-up campaign and the Affordable Medicine Facility for malaria, adding that a total of 1,003,100 LLITNs were received and distributed during the door-door free distribution and hang-up campaign in the Region.

Dr Kwashie commended the government and the Ministry of Health for posting a significant number of health workers to the Region which he said had contributed immensely in improving the staffing situation in the health facilities.

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He said 29 doctors, six medical assistants, 298 enrolled nurses, 101 registered general nurses, 17 mid-wives, 341 community health nurses and 13 technical officers were posted.

Dr Kwashie said in the coming year, his outfit would focus on strengthening the six essential building blocks of health systems, which are health financing, health workforce, health information, supply management system, leadership and governance and service delivery.

He stressed that strengthening the health systems, occupational health and safety shall be a top priority to ensure that the health of the people was protected and promoted.

He said the directorate would also endeavor to provide quality and accessible health care, especially to the disadvantaged in society. In addition, he said, his outfit would work closely with the Association of People with Disabilities to organize health education programmes for the various categories of their members who are physically challenged, visually impaired or have speech/auditory impairment.

Dasebre Kwebu Ewusie VII, Abeadzehene and Member of Council of State appealed to health service workers not to relent in their duties but to work hard to save lives.

Source: GNA