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Upper East Region records reduction in maternal deaths in 2022

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The Upper East Region has recorded a significant decrease in maternal deaths from 43 in 2021 to 27 in 2022, according to the Regional Director of Health Services, Dr Emmanuel Kofi Dzotsi.

Speaking at an annual performance review meeting, Dr Dzotsi noted that the institutional maternal mortality ratio decreased from 98 per 100,000 live births in 2021 to 65 per 100,000 live births in 2022, which represents a 91.7% improvement in performance. He credited the decrease to the effective auditing of unfortunate deaths and the implementation of recommendations by health professionals, community members, and stakeholders to prevent future occurrences.

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While the region recorded a reduction in institutional stillbirth rate from 14% in 2021 to 11% in 2022, below the national target of 11.5%, human resource remains a major issue throughout the year under review. Dr Dzotsi said the directorate managed to attract some critical health workers into the region to augment the existing staff, including the attraction of six additional doctors, thereby increasing the number of medical officers in the region from 53 in 2021 to 59 in 2022.

The director also noted the region’s shortage of routine vaccines, the Bawku conflict, documentation challenges, and inadequate motorbikes for outreach services as contributing to the decline in childhood immunization services, particularly Penta three coverage, which saw a record of 87.4% in 2022 as compared to 92% in 2021.

Dr Dzotsi called on stakeholders, health partners, non-governmental organisations, and others to come on board to support in overcoming the challenges facing health delivery in the region and improve the health conditions of the people. He acknowledged the support provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in providing 50 tricycle ambulances to enhance neonatal and maternal health services in the region.

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