The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has called for a collective and proactive approach to tackle avoidable maternal deaths, which remain a huge national challenge.
Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director of Family Health at the GHS, who made the call on Wednesday, said the country recorded 955 cases of maternal deaths in 2016.
He was speaking at the opening session of the 2017 annual conference of the Family Health Division of the GHS, underway in Sunyani.
The five-day conference is being held under the theme: “Improving quality of care to ensure survival, thriving and transformation for national development”.
The event coincides with the launching of Africa Vaccination Week also being held on the theme, “Vaccines protect everyone, get vaccinated”; and the Child Health Promotion Week also being held under the theme, “Healthy child, start right, do it right for total growth and development”.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye said Greater Accra recorded the highest number of maternal deaths with 200 cases.
He said hemorrhage (excessive bleeding) was a major factor, with 65 percent of the deaths recorded within the GHS setup.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye said the GHS recognised and appreciated the efforts of key players in the health sector as well as development partners and measures ought to be strengthened to bring the preventable deaths under control.
He said his outfit had put in place several interventions to avoid maternal, neonatal and infant deaths.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye said anaemia among pregnant women was also another health challenge as such cases increased marginally last year.
He said the family health division of the GHS has developed several policies and conducted a series of advocacy campaigns which has enabled it to achieve some successes.
Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, the Director General of the GHS, said several maternal deaths were recorded at the Tamale Teaching Hospital last year and this is unacceptable.
He said the GHS has sent a medical team to audit and conduct preliminary investigations into the deaths.
Dr Nsiah-Asare said it is the intension of the GHS to establish welfare clinics in all public health facilities including CHPS compounds adding that the health promotion department would also be elevated into a division.
These, according to the Director General, were among several interventions and initiatives designed by the GHS at ensuring quality healthcare delivery.