Dr Winfred Ofosu, the Upper East Regional Director of Health Services, has called on health facilities, especially District hospitals to effectively collaborate with various District Health Directorates to improve on health care delivery in the Region.
He observed that proper collaboration between management of the Bongo District hospital and its District Health Directorate accounted for zero maternal death in the District in 2018.
Dr Ofosu made the call when he spoke on the theme: “Achieving Sustainable Development Goals for Maternal and Child Health – the Role of Technology,” at the 2018 health sector performance review meeting held in Bolgatanga.
The programme, which was chaired by the Paramount Chief of the Bongo Traditional Area, Bonaba Baba Salifu Atamale Aleemyarum attracted officials from the Eastern Regional Directorate of the GHS, Municipal and District Directors of the Service, Medical Superintendents, Health Service Administrators, development partners, stakeholders and the media.
He said the review meeting was to take stock of health service performance for 2018, and to build capacity through sharing of good practices.
Dr Ofosu said District family meetings were needed as first step to improve on the quality of healthcare at the sub districts and district levels, and encouraged health professionals to actively take part in the proposed collaboration plan.
He said the focus for 2019 was for them to work towards achieving Universal Health Coverage. “We will consolidate current achievements through increasing access, quality of care and removal of financial barriers by working closely with the National Health Insurance Scheme to increase coverage to near 100 percent,” he said.
He disclosed that the institutional maternal mortality ratio declined from 137.5 per 100,000 live births in 2017 to 91.4 per 100,000 live births in 2018. “Similarly, still birth rate declined from 1.3 per 1000 live births in 2017 to 1.2 per 1000 live births in 2018.”
In spite of the achievements, Dr Ofosu said there was the need to strengthen current systems for better maternal and child health outcomes in 2019.
He added that “we have to improve on quality of our antenatal care to identify early diseases and impending complications, strengthen referral and emergency care, address transportation (ambulance) issues, ensure blood availability when needed, improve on quality of postnatal care, post abortion care, adolescent health services and family planning.”
Dr Ofosu indicated that the Region had achieved its target of 70 percent for institutional skilled delivery and indicated that modest improvement was made from 69.8 percent in 2017 to 70.6 percent in 2018.
However, he observed that the proportion of functional Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) zones declined from 86.1 percent in 2017 to 59.3 percent in 2018 which was largely because of increased demarcation of new CHPS zones by Districts without proportionate increase in functional zones.
He said institutional malaria case fatality for children under five declined from 0.3 percent in 2017 to 0.1 percent in 2018. “It is worthy of note that in the first half of the year 2018, there was no institutional death attributable to malaria among children under five years.”
He noted that the achievements were possible through commitment shown by all health staff, support from the Regional Coordinating Council, Municipal and District Assemblies, communities and development partners.
The Director acknowledged the support of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the Ghana and Swiss Red Cross Societies, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the Anglican Diocesan Development and Relief Organization (ADDRO) among others.