Amasaman (G/A), Oct 26, GNA - Dr Cynthia Kwakye-Maclean, Amasaman District Director of Health Services, on Thursday appealed to the government to upgrade the District Health Centre into a hospital to meet the health needs of the community.
She also requested for vehicles to ensure easy transportation of patients to referral hospitals.
Dr Kwakye-Maclean said due to lack of equipment and other infrastructure, the Centre was unable to handle most pregnancy related emergencies and had to refer patients to other hospitals, resulting in delays and loss of lives.
Dr Kwakye-Maclean, who was addressing a post-launch community durbar as part of activities marking the World Health Day celebrations, said when the Centre was upgraded cases of both infant and maternal mortality in the District would be minimised. World Health Day is celebrated on April 7 each year to assess the performance of the health sector.
The durbar was a follow-up to educate communities on the theme: "Make Every Mother and Child Count," and further create awareness on the need to ensure safe motherhood and prevent infant mortality. Dr Kwakye-Maclean explained that the Health Centre had to refer a total of 107 pregnancy-related cases in 2004, to other hospitals due to complications, which they had no equipment and expertise to handle. "We do not have much data on the number of deaths in the Ga East District due to these referrals and due to the urban and peri-urban nature of the area, most people prefer the services of Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs).
She expressed regret that though a programme had been developed for the training of TBAs in the area, some were still operating without any formal training and urged the communities to encourage them to patronise the services of the trained to help to save the lives of mothers. She said community health nurses had been trained to go into the communities to offer door-to-door support and care to people, especially pregnant women.
The District Health Director said antenatal clinics recorded only about 62 per cent of attendance in 2004, out of which only 23 per cent gave birth in the Clinic.
She gave the causes of maternal death as poor nutrition, unsafe abortions, infections and late detection of complications such as ectopic pregnancies.
Dr Kwakye-Maclean urged pregnant women to be cautious of unusual body changes and to seek early care to prevent complications and deaths. Dr Gloria Quansah, Acting Head, Reproductive and Child Health, Ghana Health Service (GHS), said the Service recorded a total of 824 deaths resulting from pregnancy related complications in year 2004, adding that though most of these deaths were preventable late detection of danger signs, delays in decision making, transportation in health institutions had contributed to the problem.
Dr Quansah urged men to support their wives during such trying moments during labour, instead of neglecting their needs and further called on chiefs and Queen mothers to institute educational programmes on the theme for their communities.
She further urged them to embrace the National Health Insurance Scheme to make health care accessible in the country.