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KATH records lowest maternal deaths in 5 years

BY: Daniel Kenu

The Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi has recorded its lowest maternal deaths in five years, with 53 cases recorded in 2020.

This was an improvement on the 111 deaths in 2019, translating into a maternal death ratio decline from 1,575 per 100,000 live births in 2019 to 847 per 100,000 live births in 2020.

The Chief Executive Officer of KATH, Dr. Oheneba Owusu-Danso, announced this at the 2020 Annual Performance Review Conference in Kumasi yesterday.

He said apart from improved clinical care, the reduced figures were also attributable to improved facilities, including the new mother and baby unit facilitated by the First Lady’s Rebecca Foundation and the enhanced operational capacity of the National Ambulance Service.

Deliveries for the year under review fell from 6,814 in 2019 to 6,247 in 2020, representing a decrease by 8.32 per cent.

Effects of COVID-19

Last year, the hospital's operational cost recorded the highest per capita expenditure ever, while overall revenue tumbled against a high overhead cost as COVID-19 took a toll on operations, Dr. Owusu-Danso stated.

He said the high rise in operational cost was due to the sharp increase in the unit cost of medical consumables, especially personal protective equipment, which in some cases had between 500 per cent and 3,000 per cent cost increment.

"For instance, the utilisation of hand sanitiser and the quantity used in 2020 was 40,755 litres as against 10,958 litres in 2019," he said.

Dr. Owusu-Danso also attributed the decline in revenue to the reduction of patients numbers arising from the COVID-19 restrictions, notably the lockdown and strategies the hospital adopted to prevent overcrowding.

He commended the government for the handling of the pandemic, noting also the contributions of some private personalities towards the management of the health crisis.

Vaccination

Dr. Owusu-Danso announced that 7,646 workers at all fronts of the facility had received the first jabs for the AstraZeneca vaccine.

He said 368 health workers at the hospital got Infected with the COVID-19 virus, with one death recorded among them.

He said the hospital witnessed the completion of a GH¢4.9 million 47-flat accommodation for house officers at Bantama as part of infrastructure improvement.

The hospital also put up a 24-hour pharmacy facility, which currently averaged GH¢150,000 per week, increasing drug availability rate from 41 per cent to 83 per cent, the CEO said.

Projections

Dr. Owusu-Danso said the hospital would implement a full integration of the payments system via an appropriate software.

If successful, patients would be able to make payment using mobile money accounts, debit and credit cards, among others.

Also on the table is the construction of a state-of-the-art Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Centre expected to be ready by the middle of the year, while a $2 million Cleft Surgery Centre had been designed to be constructed with support from Smile Train International of the USA in collaboration with the Ghana Cleft Foundation.