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22.03.2009 Health

Most maternal deaths are preventable - Gynaecologist

By GNA
Most maternal deaths are preventable - Gynaecologist


Dr Sylvia Deganus, an Obstetrician Gynaecologist at the Tema General Hospital, has noted that most maternal deaths are preventable when managed promptly.

“Profuse bleeding two hours after delivery can result in death if the woman is not attended to,” she added.

Dr Deganus said this at the close of a three-day maternal, newborn and childbirth conference held for health care providers, queen mothers and market queens in the Western Region at Takoradi.

She was speaking on the topic: “Clinical Care and Reducing Maternal Death of the Millennium Development Goal five”.

Dr Deganus mentioned poor staff attitude, cumbersome organisational set up, inadequate facilities, equipment and supplies as well as blood shortages as some of the factors that caused delays leading to maternal death.

She explained that as these delays get worse, the task of saving a woman's life becomes difficult.

According to her, if the woman survives, she has a higher chance of residual long term complications, which were costly adding “it is our responsibility to ensure that complications during child birth are avoided”.

She said poor staff attitude, poor supervision, inadequate staff, insufficient amount of drugs, equipment and other supplies are some of the challenges to quality maternity care in health facilities in the country.

Dr Deganus recommended that there was the need to design policies which would focus on improving quality of maternity care received by women.

She said the focus of these policies must involve community people, particularly pregnant women.

She added that health institutions that maintained high level of quality maternity care services must be rewarded.

Dr Isabella Sagoe-Moses, the National Child Health Coordinator of the Ghana Health Service said several new born babies could be saved if existing interventions reach at least 90 percent of newborns and mothers.

She mentioned insufficient knowledge, skills and brain drain as some of the factors contributing to child morbidity and maternal mortality.

She called for the strengthening of new birth care as a catalyst to achieving the Millennium Development Goal five.

Dr Linda Vanotoo, the Western Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service said it has been recognised that if pregnant women received good antenatal care, positive outcome were achieved.

“We could do far well than what we have been doing and therefore we are committed to make a difference,” she told health care providers.

She said psychological and spiritual support for victims of stillbirths and maternal deaths were critical and more attention was required.

“Let us study what we can do to bring the needed intervention,” she advised.

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