The Sekondi/Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) has recorded an increase in maternal deaths at the various health facilities in the metropolis.
A report compiled by the assembly attributed the deaths to bleeding after birth, late reporting, religious beliefs, unsafe abortion and hypertension.
The report indicated that five of the women were referred to Effia-Nkwanta Regional Referral Hospital from other surrounding districts.
The Metropolitan Chief Executive(MCE), Mr Anthony K. K. Sam, who disclosed this in Sekondi, said the maternal deaths moved from 12 in 2017 to 17 in just the first half of this year.
As part of measures to save lives, he stressed the need for voluntary blood donation to support the hospitals, saying, “we can save the lives of our women through blood donation to the hospitals, and as such the assembly members will lead the campaign.”
Mr Sam also noted that transportation problems coupled with the religious beliefs and practices of patients and their relatives also contributed significantly to late referrals to higher facilities.
On transportation, he said the issue would be critically examined to improve the situation.
Clinical and public health services, he however, said were offered in all government and private facilities throughout the metropolis.
“Out Patient Department (OPD) attendance as well as admission rate increased slightly in the first half year of 2018 compared to 2017.
Mr Sam said the total number of institutional deaths decreased from 30.3 to 26.9 per 1000 admissions with neonatal, deaths in children less than one month forming a chunk of the deaths (19.2/1000 live births).
The MCE said antenatal registrants in the first half-year were 6,236 compared to 6,278 last year, while a total of 431 of the pregnant women representing 6.9 per cent were teenagers.
He said skilled deliveries went up by 203 this year with coverage of 20.1 per cent and was hopeful it would improve the position of the metropolis on the District League Table in the area of health.
Malaria and treated bed nets
To control malaria, he said household registration and distribution of long lasting insecticide treated nets (LLINS) took place in June and August respectively.
In all, 155,793 households with a population of 523,359 were registered, covering 73.7 per cent of the population, including the newly created Effia-Kwesimintsim Municipality.”
The directorate received 308,050 nets from the National Malaria Control Programme and distributed 241,008 nets to 81 per cent of registered households in STMA and 68 per cent in EKMA.
He urged the beneficiaries to use the nets for the intended purpose in order to reduce the incidence of malaria, adding “the assembly would work with agriculture extension agents to ensure that community members do not use the treated nets to fence their farms as we have seen happening in other places”.