A total of 67 maternal deaths were recorded in the Brong-Ahafo Region, last year, Dr. Osei Kuffour Afreh, the Deputy Regional Director (Public Health), has announced. Compared with the 2015 figure of 87, this showed a significant decline in the number of women, who died during childbirth. Dr. Afreh, said the achievement would, however, not make anybody complacent, saying they were targeting zero per cent deaths. Addressing an annual regional dissemination meeting with chiefs and queens in Sunyani, he identified the main causes as hemorrhage, sepsis, hypertension, unsafe abortion, refusal to attend antenatal clinic and respiratory failure. The other contributory factors included “delay in decision to seek care” because of poor understanding of the health complications and poverty. The meeting was held under the theme “Dissemination of maternal health issues – the role of traditional leaders”. It provided the platform to discuss ways to strengthen the collaboration between the healthcare providers and traditional rulers, particularly, queens to prevent maternal mortality. Other issues that came up were neonatal deaths and growing teenage pregnancy in the region and how to effectively deal with these. Dr. Afreh complained about what he termed “delay in reaching care” due to the bad nature of roads and the long travel distance to the health facilities. Mrs. Martha Larbi-Agyemfra, the Regional Public Health Nurse, said 120 doctors and midwives in the region, had received training on life-saving skills and this was done with support from the United Nations Fund for Population Activities. Additionally, 200 community health nurses had been adequately equipped to carry out in-plant insertion and removal, as part of a deliberate effort to increase family planning acceptance.
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