Ashanti region emerged as highest contributor to reducing neonatal deaths with neonatal mortality rate of 42/1000 live births as compared to the national average of 29/1000 live birth, according to the Ghana Demographic Health Survey in 2014.“The GHS in collaboration with PATH, Ghana initiated the “making every baby count” initiative in Ashanti region in July 2015 in an effort to reduce neonatal mortality rate in the region.
Between September and November 2015, we set out to do a facility mapping and assessment in 56 MEBCI focused facilities in an effort to unearth the the causes of these high neonatal deaths in the region,” according to the Ashanti regional health director, Dr. Alexis Nang-Beifubah.
Adding, he said only 24 out of the 56 core facilities had an area designated for the care of the new born babies, and more than 50% of providers caring for these new born babies had not received any formal training in new born care during the year prior to the commencement of the initiative. Whereas basic new born equipments, posters and protocols on new born care were inadequate in the facilities.
He continued that, in achieving capacity building, thirty (30) regional trainers including Paediatricians, Anaesthetics, Paediatric Nurses and Midwives were trained in April 2016 to commence the training of providers in the region.
“As of today, there are 48 regional trainers taking on the mantle to ensure the program’s success. Currently, 1,400 providers have been trained, constituting more than 90% of providers in our MEBCI focused facilities.
As a result of this program, forty one (41) out of the 56 selected facilities have disintegrated and functional new born areas whereas five others are in various stages of completion,” Dr. Alexis noted.
Dr. Alexis further disclosed that, 40 supervisory visits have been conducted and majority of the providers have been trained in skills and knowledge in helping in babies breathe, essential care for every baby and infection prevention.
“Ashanti region was adjudged the best performing region in terms of neonatal mortality rate in July, 2016, during the performance feedback to the regional health directorate and the Ghana health service division.
Ashanti region entirely recorded about 77% drop in neonatal mortality figures as compared to that of last year, which is quite significant and we hope to achieve further reduction,” Dr. Alexis Nang-Beifubah enlightened.
He made these disclosures when addressing MEBCI’s Final Training Session at the Promised Land Hotel in Kumasi.