216 Women die from childbirth in Ashanti Region

216 Women die from childbirth in Ashanti Region

As many as 216 women, including health workers, lost their lives in the Ashanti Region last year due to childbirth complications.


The Ashanti Regional Director of Health, Dr Emmanuel Tenkorang, who disclosed this, said the deaths could have been prevented if the country had mechanisms in place to manage the situation.

He was speaking at a workshop organised by the Mental Health Authority, in partnership with the Ghana Health Service (GHS), for some midwives in Kumasi as part of the Mental Health Awareness Month celebration.

The occasion was also used to build the capacity of the midwives, drawn from various health facilities in the region, on the management of maternal mental health during and after childbirth.

Dr Tenkorang said the country had implemented the same strategies to reduce the rate of maternal mortality over the years, but the situation had not changed, and believed that there was the need to review the national approach towards maternal mortality.

He said it could not be business as usual, and that there should be a different approach towards maternal health in the country. "We need accelerated reduction in maternal death," he said.

Dr Tenkorang said per reports from the various health facilities, about 50 per cent of pregnant women experienced severe mental crisis during pregnancy and a year after delivery.

That, he said, was worrying, thus, the need for the health directorate to develop a policy to manage the situation. “Pregnancy is a very stressful condition associated with a number of risks which put every pregnant woman under stress. This sometimes can be protracted and lead to a full-blown psychiatric condition,” he said.

Dr Tenkorang said the Maternal Mental Health Policy was instituted to create awareness for caregivers to identify mental health conditions associated with pregnancy, as well as to prepare caregivers to critically examine pregnant women for early detection of mental conditions and to manage them.

He added that the GHS would provide the necessary logistics and drugs to assist with the management of the maternal mental health conditions among pregnant women in the country.


The Ashanti Regional Psychiatrist, Dr Francis Oppong, in an interview, said depression was one of the commonest mental health conditions associated with pregnancy, and early detection and treatment was important to save more women.

He said maternal mental health issues had been neglected for far too long, and that it was about time they were given the needed attention to save pregnant women from preventable deaths such as suicide.

Dr Oppong called on husbands and family members to serve as support systems for their pregnant relatives to help prevent situations that would predispose them to mental health disorders. 

Awareness Month

The Mental Health Authority has set aside the month of May for awareness creation on mental health. It is known as the Purple Month, with the first week used to commemorate maternal mental health.

This year's celebration is on the theme: “Movement: moving more for our mental health”.

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