Maternal Deaths Loom In B/A As Drug Shortage Hits Maternity Homes

By Eric Bawh
Regional News Kweku Agyeman-Manu, Health Minister
Kweku Agyeman-Manu, Health Minister

Unless the Ministry of Health comes to the aid of private Midwives in the Brong Ahafo Region, maternal death will hit the rooftop in a matter of time as drug shortage hits the Maternity Homes due to NHIA inability to pay for their claims.

According to the President of the Brong Ahafo Region branch of the Ghana Registered Midwives Association, for the past nine months, not a single Cedi has been paid out of the claims they submitted to NHIA.

Madam Augustina Ahiaku, the President of the Association said as a result of their predicament, companies that supply them drugs have refused to supply them with much-needed drugs and as a result, pregnant women are sometimes asked to go home because drugs are not available to treat them.

She said what is most worrisome is that many of the midwifery facilities are located in remote areas and so women who visit such facilities where drugs are not available to end up dying.

Speaking to newsmen in an interview on the problems that the Maternity Homes are facing, Madam Dorcas Fordwour who has been in the business for several years said the situation has become so desperate that workers are being laid off in many facilities because operators cannot even break even not to talk of making a profit to pay utilities and salaries of workers.

She said the delay in the payment of claims has affected their work so much so that they are forced to credit drugs for their patients and sometimes rely on banks for loans to pay for drugs.

Madam Dorcas seized the opportunity to appeal to the Gender Minister, Madam Afiko Djaba to use her good offices to impress upon the authorities to expedite action in order to avoid the death of pregnant women who patronize these facilities in the Brong Ahafo Region.

Madam Dorcas who operates one of the oldest midwifery hospitals in the Techiman Municipality said her facility takes care of more than three thousand pregnant women in a month but because of the shortage of drugs, she has to refer some of them to other hospitals.

She also appealed to the First Lady to help them out of their predicament.