Upper West Region records 19 maternal deaths in 2023

Dr Damien Punguyire, the Upper West Regional Director of Health Service, has said the region recorded 19 maternal deaths in 2023 as against 16 in 2022.

The proportion of deliveries supervised by qualified health workers also declined from 73 per cent in 2022 to 71 per cent in 2023.

Dr Punguyire announced this in Wa at the opening of the 2023 Annual Regional Health Sector Performance Review Meeting of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) on the theme: ‘Embracing the Networks of Practice Approach to improve health outcomes in the Upper West Region’.

Members of the Regional Health Committee, development partners, Municipal and District Chief Executives, Directors of Health, Principals of Health Training Institutions and traditional leaders among others attended.

Mr Punguyire explained that institutional neonatal mortality in the region dropped from about six per 1000 live births in 2022 to five per1000 live births in 2023, while still birth rate declined from 11 per 1000 births in 2022 to about seven per 1000 birt
hs in 2023.

Anemia among pregnant women at 36 weeks remained a big challenge for the region as it increased from 39.8 per cent in 2022 to 44.2 per cent in 2023.

The proportion of Out-Patients Department (OPD) cases attributable to malaria reduced from 29.4 per cent in 2022 to 27.5 per cent in 2023.

Malaria admissions also reduced from about 7,900 cases in 2022 to 6,800 in 2023, and deaths due to malaria significantly reduced from 18 in 2022 to six in 2023.

509 Tuberculosis (TB) cases were detected in the region in 2023 compared to 479 in 2022, with 79 and 69 percentage proportions of the cases, respectively, cured in those years.

He said the country’s vision of achieving the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) of ensuring access to high-quality health services, irrespective of one’s ability to pay at the point of use, was anchored on building a resilient health system at all levels.

That was more critical at the sub-district level, which was the focal point of the implementation of many health interventions
and policies.

‘However, the sub-district health system (health centres) has been found to be the weakest link in the overall health system in Ghana, with strong CHPS (Community-based Health Planning and Services) at the base,’ Mr Punguyire.

To address this weakness, the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Health had proposed to develop networks of practice among sub-district health facilities to improve service delivery and in the process, upgrade health centres into model ones, he said.

Mr Eric Boateng Frimpong, the Director of Internal Audit, who read a speech on behalf of the Director General of the GHS, said Primary Health Care (PHC) remained core to the Service’s agenda of providing comprehensive healthcare to the public.

The country could achieve UHC if it had a good PHC system, hence improving the PHC system was an important venture to the Service, he said.

Mr Frimpong observed that the GHS had achieved a reduction in still birth and institutional neonatal mortality rates over the past five y

There was a downward trend in still birth rates per 1000 live births, decreasing from 12.6 in 2019 to 10.2 in 2023.

Similarly, there was a reduction in institutional neonatal mortality rate per 100,000 live births from 7.8 in 2019 to 5.1 in 2023.

Prof. Juventus Ziem, the founding Dean of the School of Medical Sciences, CK Tedam University, who chaired the event, said the review meeting was an opportunity for actors to assess the sectors to improve service delivery.

Source: Ghana News Agency