Due to improved public health education and commitment to providing health infrastructure and logistics, all maternal and child health performance indicators were positive in the Central Region in 2018.
Family planning acceptor rate increased from 30.5 per cent in 2017 to 32.6 per cent in 2018, while the proportion of deliveries attended by trained health workers rose from 61.7 per cent in 2017 to 65.1 per cent in 2018.
Similarly, the proportion of mothers who made at least four antenatal visits jumped from 69.1 per cent in the year 2017 to 76.9 per cent in 2018.
Dr Nang-Beifubah, Central Regional Director of Health Services, said this at the 2018 Central Regional Health Sector Annual Performance Review meeting held in Cape Coast.
The three days engagement, held under the theme: “achieving universal health coverage: the role of stakeholders”, was attended by health professionals including District Directors, health administrators, students and the media.
Dr Nang-Beifubah attributed the impressive performance to a number of strategies and activities implemented by the Government through the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ghana Health (GHS) in collaboration with the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Health Directorate, its partners and stakeholders.
These strategies and activities included the procurement of medical equipment, logistics and capacity building for midwives and other health staff to improve the quality of maternal health care in the Region.
Others are the declaration of zero tolerance for home delivery and maternal deaths, public sensitization on maternal and child health and the institution of pregnancy classes for all pregnant women in the Municipality among others.
Dr Nang-Beifubah said in the year 2018, the phenomenon of maternal deaths showed a remarkable decline and underlined the need for stakeholders to sustain scaled-up public education to drastically reduce the ‘shameful’ menace.
Giving statistics to buttress the case, he said, institutional maternal mortality ratio per 100,000 live births declined from 129 in the year 2017 to 126 in 2018.
It also reduced malaria infection among pregnant women and its debilitating consequences from 40.6 per cent in 2017 to 42.08 in 2018.
Measles-rubella two coverage declined marginally from 79.2 per cent in the year 2017 to 78 per cent in 2018.
However, in collaboration with stakeholders, the region also made giant strides during the six-day national Measles-Rubella vaccination and Vitamin A supplement campaign to improve the general health and survival of Ghanaian children.
The campaign is aimed at ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all ages to help reduce the number of measles-rubella cases in the region.
Dr Nang-Beifubah enumerated some teething challenges to include the acute shortage of Midwives, Medical Assistants, Public Health Nurses and Field Technicians was affecting the quality and coverage of health services in the Region.
Other challenges, he said, include the increasing burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases in the Municipality, delay in the reimbursement of funds from the Health Insurance Scheme, office and staff accommodation as well as the poor attitude of some staff.
Dr Nang-Beifubah reiterated that Government’s plan to invest heavily in education and preventive healthcare this year for care and treatment of chronic non-communicable diseases due to lifestyle choices.
These include diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity.
“We are determined to improve on the clinical care indicators as well by working assiduously to significantly improve the quality of care in our hospitals and other health facilities,” he said.
“This is our only sure bet for reducing the disease burden on the population across the region as a whole and improving upon the quality of life of the people”, Dr Nang-Beifubah said.