Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) has called for an urgent review of the country’s maternal health strategies to bring down the increasing deaths.
Dr Oheneba Owusu-Danso said the growing maternal and neonatal deaths seen at health facilities should be a major wake-up call to everybody, adding that, all key stakeholders in the health sector needed to come together to find a way out of the worrying situation.
The call followed the unacceptably high maternal and neonatal deaths recorded at the hospital, the nation’s second largest referral facility, in 2017.
The maternal death rate increased from 1020.52 per 100,000 live births in 2016 to 1207.10 per 100,000 live births in 2017.
That of the neonatal also rose from 134.69 per 1000 births in 2016, to 141.18 per 1000 births in 2017.
Speaking at the annual performance review meeting of the hospital in Kumasi, Dr Owusu-Danso indicated that most of the deaths were referral cases.
He added that any review of the maternal health strategy would need to focus on equipping district hospitals and other frontline facilities to provide skilled care at the community level.
He expressed optimism that the hospital’s new Maternal, Mother and Baby Unit and the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) project, spearheaded by the First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, would significantly improve maternal and neonatal care.
He announced that the management had received the approval of the Health Ministry to seek private funding to procure a new oxygen plant and said the installation of a new plant could happen within weeks.
The CEO spoke of the establishment of an endowment fund to tackle infrastructure and logistical needs of the hospital.
To strengthen security at the facility, it had begun phased deployment of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras.
Additionally, he said a new 24-hour pharmacy had been set-up to stock and sell non-insured medicines to save patients from walking long distances to buy these drugs.
Dr. Owusu-Danso said they had prioritized capacity building of the staff to update their skills and knowledge for the efficient discharge of their duties.
He also encouraged the staff to continue to use the internal grievance resolution mechanism to address any operational and professional challenges.