Dr Emmanuel Kofi Dzotsi

The Upper East Region has recorded an increase in newborn and maternal deaths in 2020 as against 2019, Dr Emmanuel Kofi Dzotsi, the Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service has said.

“Our maternal deaths situation worsened as it shot to 35 in the year 2020 from 30 deaths in 2019, resulting in an institutional maternal mortality rate of 91 per 100,000 live births in the Region. Still birth rate was not good with a record of 13.3 per cent, a rise from 11.2 percent in 2019,” he said.

The Regional Director made the disclosure at the 2020 annual performance review conference held in Bolgatanga on the theme, “reducing newborn and maternal mortalities amidst COVID-19 pandemic.”

Dr Dzotsi attributed the situation to inadequate support services including infrastructure, residential and office accommodation, as well as means of transport in all health facilities.

He therefore called for collective efforts to find implementable and achievable interventions to reverse the downward trend and boost the Region’s efforts at contributing to the attainment of the Universal Health Coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Regional Director noted that despite the failures and challenges confronting health delivery especially with the outbreak and spread of the COVID-19, the Region recorded successes in some health indicators.

He said the implementation of the Community Health Planning Services (CHPS) compounds as a strategy to achieve the Universal Health Coverage recorded 100 per cent demarcation coverage of 523 CHPS zones.

“We have achieved 77 per cent functional CHPS zones, that is, 405 Community Health Officers in 223 CHPS zones CHPS compounds. The functional CHPS zones serve a population of 1, 053, 857,” he added.

Dr Dzotsi said in the year 2020, the Region recorded a marginal increase in immunization coverage although the national target of 95 per cent was not met.

He said, “for example, our Penta 3 coverage stood at 86 per cent. Td2+ for pregnant women need to be well monitored since the coverage for that antigen had been consistently low in the Region.”

The Regional Director reiterated their efforts to consolidate the gains made and work assiduously to address challenges confronting the quality of health care delivery.

He charged all health managers to device innovative systematic approaches in the implementation of the strategies and the judicious use of resources to find solutions to health issues particularly newborn and maternal health.

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