The Ghana Health Service (GHS) in the North-East Region has recorded a decline in maternal mortality from 16 institutional deaths in 2021 to six deaths in 2022.
The decline brought institutional maternal mortality ratio to 30.5 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2022 as compared to 84.8 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2021, with the national target of 125 deaths per 100,000 live births.
Speaking at the 2022 annual performance review meeting of the Service in Nalerigu, Dr Abdulai Abukari, the Regional Director of the GHS, noted that maternal mortality was a major challenge in the Region.
He said owing to the worrisome trend of maternal deaths in the Region, the Health Directorate took stringent measures to address the situation.
“I am happy to report that our measures have paid off, leading to over 60 per cent reduction. I would, therefore, like to seize this opportunity to solicit the continuous support of all other stakeholders in our fight against maternal deaths,” he said.
The review meeting was on the theme: “Health systems strengthening towards achieving Universal Health Coverage: the role of stakeholders in resource mobilization.”
It brought together Municipal and District Directors of the GHS, Medical Superintendents of hospitals across the Region, traditional leaders and other stakeholders to review the performance of the Regional Directorate and strategize for 2023.
Dr Abukari said Ante-Natal Clinic coverage increased from 94.8 per cent in 2021 to 98 per cent in 2022, however, Family Planning (FP) acceptor rate decreased from 21.3 per cent in 2021 to 20.0 per cent in 2022.
The Region also recorded a slight increase in the coverage of skilled deliveries from 71.6 per cent in 2021 to 73.4 per cent in 2022.
He said Caesarean Section (CS) rate also witnessed a slight decrease from 8.1 per cent in 2021 to 7.7 per cent in 2022 and indicated that the decrease was still less than the recommended target of 15 per cent for the Region.
Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director-General (DG) of the GHS, in a speech read on his behalf, said the Service made significant progress in the supply chain systems, health information management and data protection.
“We have revitalised the scheduled delivery system, deployed the Integrated Logistics Management Information System as far as the Community-based Health Planning and Services compounds, and made significant progress in the deployment of the E-tracker and Lightwave Health Information Management System (LHIMS).”
Dr Kuma-Aboagye said Data Protection Focal Persons were also trained in all 16 Regions to ensure the GHS remained compliant with data protection laws.
To enhance efforts towards the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by the year 2030, the GHS deepened collaboration with partners towards re-designing Primary Health Care systems to improve quality and provide a more patient-centred care.
“In this vein, we introduced the Network of Practice approach with the Model Health Centre as the fulcrum. We believe that, as we continue to engage stakeholders from Region to Region through the high office of Regional Ministers, we shall get the input we need to make this system change better and sustainable towards the realisation of UHC in Ghana starting from our sub-districts.”
Dr Kuma-Aboagye said the Service was proud of all the hardworking GHS staff who strived day and night, waded through rivers and lakes, climbed hills and walked endless miles in the sun, to ensure good quality health care was provided to the people of Ghana.