By Albert Futukpor, GNA
Tamale, March 15, GNA – A total of 130 women died during child birth at health facilities in the Northern Region in 2016 as against 92 maternal mortality cases recorded in 2015, according to figures from the Northern Regional Health Directorate.
Madam Joana Quarcoo, Kumbungu District Director of Health, who made a presentation on behalf of the Regional Public Health Nurse on the state of health in the Region during the launch of the Promoting Maternal, Newborn, Infant and Child Sustainable Health Efforts (PROMISE) project in Tamale, said 67 children, who were between zero to seven days old, also died in 2016.
The four-year project (2016 – 2020), being implemented by the Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC), an international non-governmental organization (NGO), with funding from Global Affairs Canada, is to contribute to a reduction in maternal and child mortality in the Savelugu/Nanton Municipality, Nanumba North and Saboba Districts of the Northern Region.
It focuses on three areas including improving delivery of essential health services to mothers, pregnant women, newborns and children under five and utilization of essential health services by mothers, pregnant women, newborns and children under five.
Madam Quarcoo said 325 children, who were from seven days to 30 days old, and 34 others, who were from 30 days to 11 months old, also died in 2016.
She attributed maternal deaths recorded in the Region to various factors including delays in referral of pregnant women to other health facilities, whiles child mortality cases were as a result of malaria and other infections.
She said efforts were being made to improve referrals as well as asking traditional birth attendants to bring pregnant women to hospital for care to prevent maternal deaths.
She also spoke of plans to strengthen emergency transport system to transport pregnant women to hospitals for skilled delivery.
Mr George Baiden, Country Director of CCFC, emphasised the need for all to work to “Put the high maternal deaths behind us, let’s make it possible to attain the lowest rates of child mortality and morbidity and ensure that every child and mother lives to contribute to the development of the country.”
Mr Baiden called on corporate organisations to join hands with development partners in well-planned and coordinated programmes that would produce the greatest impact on women and children in society.
Mr Salifu Saeed, Northern Regional Minister, whose speech was read on his behalf, assured of government’s commitment to strengthening health systems including the National Health Insurance Scheme and the Free Maternal Care for improved healthcare for all.
Madam Heather Cameron, Canadian High Commissioner, whose speech was read on her behalf, was confident that the project would make a significant impact on improving the health and nutrition of mothers, newborns, children and adolescents.