The Ashanti Region has recorded a total of 70 maternal deaths as of the end of October, down from the previous year’s same period figure of 91 deaths.
Professor Baffour Opoku of the Directorate of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), attributed the deaths mainly to hemorrhage and hypertensive disorders in pregnancy.
He was speaking at a colloquium on the Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA), in Kumasi.
It was held under the theme, “Intensifying maternal, newborn and child health in Africa: drawing on eight years of CARMMA”.
The programme brought together medical doctors and students, nurses, health researchers and scientists, and other pro-health organizations and the goal was to identify more effective strategies to deal with maternal and child mortality.
CARMMA, established in 2009, is a major initiative by the African Union Commission to encourage member states to promote the implementation of the Maputo Plan of Action – put in place viable policy framework for the reduction of maternal, newborn and child mortality and morbidity.
Prof Opoku called for increased financing for sexual and reproductive health issues and to build the capacity of health personnel for efficient service delivery.
He added that maternal units of the health facilities should be adequately equipped to enhance safe motherhood.
The current situation where sub-Sharan Africa accounted for about 62 per cent of the global maternal deaths despite improved maternal and child healthcare services, should not continue.
“As health workers, it is our greatest responsibility to ensure that no mother dies while giving life”, he said.
Dr. Mrs. Margaret Agama-Anyetei of the AU Commission, said Ghana needed to up its game to promote the safety of expectant mothers and newborn babies.
The country missed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on maternal and child mortality, something she described as unfortunate.
She underlined the need for well-coordinated and comprehensive policy framework to address challenges inhibiting effective reproductive health.
Prof Kwasi Obiri-Danso, Vice-Chancellor of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUS), in a speech read for him, appealed to the government to assist its School of Medical Sciences in its research activities to come out with interventions to support safe motherhood, reduce infant mortality and morbidity to the barest minimum.