By Godfred Polkuu, GNA
Zebilla (U/E), Feb.14, GNA – The Bawku West District Health Directorate in the Upper East Region scored 100 per cent for maternal deaths target for the year 2016 and is poised to do same for the year 2017.
Mr Benjamin Aggrey, District Director of Health, disclosed at the 2016 performance review of the District held on the theme: “Harnessing human resources for effective leadership and service delivery with focus on newborn care and sub district health system.”
The meeting attracted health personnel from all 34 health centres in the District and opinion leaders to deliberate on the performance of the Directorate in 2016 and strategize for the years ahead.
Mr Aggrey said the District recorded 3,648 deliveries in the year under review, representing 91 percent without any mortality as compared to 2015 when it recorded two; and supervised deliveries increased from 88.5 percent in 2015 to 90 percent in 2016.
He said intensive education of clients on the importance of early antenatal clinic, enforcement of community by-laws to prevent home deliveries, prompt referrals of labour cases using the only pickup vehicle meant for official duties at the District Health Administration, refresher causes organized for midwives on the major causes of maternal death, and health promotion were some of the factors that led to the achievement.
He said total neonatal deaths however, increased from 14 in 2015 to 26 in 2016, representing 0.006 percent, teenage pregnancies increased from 17.6 percent in 2014 and 17.8 percent in 2015 respectively, while malaria cases also increased from 15.1 percent in 2015 to 28 percent.
He commended the efforts of all health personnel for the achievement and urged them to continue to work as a team to improve on their weak areas.
The Director, who further declared zero maternal death for this year, advised health personnel to be more innovative, strengthen their antenatal clinic services and entreated them to utilize the little resources at their disposal judiciously.
Mr Aggrey called on the District Assembly to fast track the completion of an administration block for the directorate, which came to a halt many years ago, and to renovate the health facilities in the area since most of them were in deplorable states.
“Our major issue now is renovation,” He said.
He expressed gratitude to the Regional Health Directorate and some Non-Governmental Organizations; mainly Oxfam Ghana, Participatory Action for Rural Development Alternatives (PARDA), World Vision International, Afrikids Ghana, Anglican Diocesan Development and Relief Organisation (ADDRO) and Mr Frank Adongo Fuseini, Member of Parliament for the area and the traditional rulers for their support.
Mr Samuel Atuba, a Senior Health Services Administrator at the District Hospital, complained that the operating table and anesthetic machine in the Hospital’s theatre were broken down and needed urgent replacement to facilitate service delivery in the unit.
Mr Atuba hinted that the operating theatre also suffered structural defects as portions of it leaked badly during the rainy season, which also affected service delivery in the unit.
He expressed worry that emergency labour cases referred to Bolgatanga coupled with the bad road network could have unbearable consequences if the theatre was not fixed.
He said the Hospital was confronted with office and staff accommodation problems, with some consulting rooms converted into offices; and expressed dissatisfaction that the Hospital with its limited space accommodated the District Health Directorate.
The Administrator said children at the Paediatric Wards were compelled to lay three on each bed during the rainy season when admissions peaked, whilst at the Maternity, Male and Female Wards, patients laid on the floor for lack of space and beds.
Mr Atuba appealed to stakeholders to help expand the facility to enable it cater for its growing client base, and commended staff for their hard work in spite of the challenges.
He further admonished the youth in the District to exercise restraint in riding their motorbikes since the Hospital recorded three deaths last year when the election results were declared, owing to reckless motor riding.
Dr Kofi Issah, the Upper East Regional Health Director, in a speech read on his behalf, congratulated the District for its hard work and dedication to duty exhibited in 2016.
“The Regional Directorate of Health Services acknowledged all the sacrifices that were made by individuals and at collective levels towards ensuring that the people of the Region received adequate and quality care,” He said.
Dr Issah said more was expected of health personnel to meet both local and national objectives in health care delivery and urged every staff of the service to be abreast with current policies and guidelines for service delivery in the Ghana Health Service.
He noted that leadership was one of the challenges in the Health Service, adding that, the focus will be to strengthen the leadership at all levels with special focus on sub-district leaders.
This, he said, called for the reconstitution of hospital advisory boards, district health committees, and Community Health Management Committees.