Dr Braimah Baba Abubakari, Northern Regional Director of Health says the region is making significant improvement in reducing institutional maternal mortality as the situation has been on the decline since 2019.
He said, “It is significant to note that institutional maternal mortality ratio has been on the decline since 2019 falling from 144 per 100,000 live births in 2019 to 120 per 100,000 live births in 2020, and further reducing to 99 per 100,000 live births in 2021 while the performance for 2022 was 95 per 100,000 live births.”
He noted that, “Still births rate stayed within the national target of 12 per 1,000 live births following continuous efforts put in to improve antenatal care and monitoring of labour.”
He announced this during the 2022 annual performance review meeting of the Northern Regional Health Directorate held in Tamale on the theme: “Improving the Quality of Health Services: The Role of Effective Resource Management.”
The event was to share some satisfactory results achieved over the year, and the gaps that existed, as well as learn lessons, based on which to strategise to improve performance.
Dr Abubakari touched on the human resource situation saying, “Except for doctors, the human resource situation continues to improve gradually especially for nurses of all categories and midwives. Our major problem with human resource has remained the lack of equity in distribution.”
He said to address the equity gap, the Regional Health Directorate placed a moratorium on posting of more staff to the Tamale Metropolis and Sagnarigu Municipality adding, “The decision is gradually being extended to the nearby districts such as Savelugu, Kumbungu and Nanton that are also getting overstaffed.”
He said, “With funding from UNICEF, a modern walk-in cold room has been provided at the Regional Medical Stores (RMS) to enhance the proper storage of our vaccines. Global Fund also provided funding for the renovation of part of the RMS in addition to containers mounted to provide additional storage capacity for the RMS.”
He announced that, “As part of efforts to improve oxygen supply, USAID procured high flow oxygen concentrators for Yendi, Tamale, Gushegu and Bimbilla Hospitals.”
Dr Abubakari spoke about some of the challenges confronting health care delivery in the region saying there was not enough motorbikes for outreach services and monitoring and supervision in many of the sub-districts adding “Basic equipment is also woefully inadequate especially in the lower-level facilities.”
Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, Northern Regional Minister expressed the need to address the attitudinal challenges that negatively impacted the quality of health services and health outcomes to make health services responsive to the needs of clients.