GHS records reduced maternal death, infant mortality

BY: Biiya Mukusah Ali
Dr Anthony Adofo Ofosu —  Deputy Director-General of the Ghana Health Service
Dr Anthony Adofo Ofosu — Deputy Director-General of the Ghana Health Service

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) recorded significant reduction in maternal deaths, institutional infant mortality and neonatal deaths in 2020 despite some disruptions in service delivery due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Deputy Director-General of the service, Dr Anthony Adofo Ofosu, has announced.

“With increased national commitments towards ending preventable maternal and child deaths, the service recorded considerable progress in a numbers of key indicators in 2020,” he stated during the 2020 Bono East Regional Health Directorate Annual Performance Review meeting at Kintampo.

The meeting was on the theme: "Continuity of quality service delivery in the midst of COVID-19.”

Maternal and child morbidity

Giving some statistics to indicate the situation, Dr Ofosu said institutional maternal mortality ratio reduced by 8.8 per cent, with Ashanti Region recording the highest drop of approximately 34 per cent in 2020.

Antenatal Care (ANC) registration increased by 4.37 per cent, with the Upper West Region recording the highest increase of about 9.53 per cent.

There was also reduction in infant mortality rate and total neonatal deaths, which reduced by 11.2 per cent and 4.8 per cent respectively.

Staff incentive

The Deputy Director-General of the GHS said the institution was in the process of finalising the plan and processes to set up and strengthen systems to address staff needs.

He mentioned the provision of compensation and benefits package as well as investment in improving and expanding capacities of health workers as some of the packages in the offing.

Dr Ofosu said as a service, it was essential to focus on improving the organisational culture and corporate image to redefine who it was and what it stood for.

He said the Health Service’s new vision and direction was aimed at building a service where “staff are more skillful, efficient, motivated, equitably distributed and well protected during the delivery of service, especially during this pandemic.”

Top agenda

Dr Ofosu hinted that the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) would continue to be the service’s top agenda.

He said: “As a country, I believe we are on a good trajectory in terms of providing access to NTD essential medicines and health care, as well as capacity building of the health workforce to manage these conditions.”

The Bono East Regional Director of the GHS, Dr Fred Akomako-Boateng, pledged the service’s commitment to continue to work hard to ensure that no woman died through maternal delivery.

He appealed for individual or organisational support to achieve the targeted goal.