Cape Coast- The Central Regional Health Directorate has identified eclampsia as the leading cause of maternal deaths in the region.
Eclampsia is a condition in which one or more convulsions occur in a pregnant woman suffering from high blood pressure, often followed by coma and posing a threat to the health of mother and baby.
Mr Richard Darko, Regional Information Officer of the Ghana Health Services (GHS) disclosed this at the Central Regional Coordinating Council Meeting in Cape Coast.
He described the situation as disheartening and mentioned the predominant districts to include; the Abura Aseibu Kwamankese (AAK), Komenda Edina Eguafo (KEEA), Mfantsiman, Awutu Senya East, Gomoa East, Gomoa West, Ajumako, Assin North and Effutu.
He said maternal deaths increased from 45 in the first quarter of 2016 to 48 in 2017 over the same period despite having improved on supervised delivery, family planning coverage and qualitative improvement in healthcare services.
That notwithstanding, he expressed the unwavering determination of the Directorate through increased public education, improvement in healthcare services and the adoption of more innovative and pragmatic measures to drastically reduce the maternal deaths in the region.
Touching on HIV/AIDS, Mr Darko said the HIV Sentinel Survey Report showed that the region had been recording a stagnated HIV prevalence rate of 1.8 per cent in the last three years.
Health experts have attributed the increase to high illiteracy rate, poverty and perennial rural-urban migration for non-existent jobs as these factors predisposes individuals to HIV infections.
Nonetheless, the Region did not record any case of cholera in 2017 despite registering 725 cases in the previous year which he explained that the feat was due to a number of health measures put in place by the Health Directorate and other stakeholders, following the high cases record in 2016.
He urged the public to frequently wash their hands with soap, keep their surroundings clean as the rains would soon set in and desist from buying food that was prepared or sold near chocked gutters and unhygienic places.
He indicated that the adoption of hygienic practices to prevent cholera and other communicable diseases was the best way to end the frequent outbreak of the preventable diseases adding that the Region consistently performed well in all disease surveillance indicators and malaria accounted for 37 per cent of OPD attendance in the region.
He assured that the Directorate would continue to train staff in Malaria cases management and provide on-site supportive supervision to improve diagnosis and management.
The GHS had outlined priority areas such as the scaling up of CHPS activities, emergency care and preparedness, commodity security and supply chain, financial management and data quality improvement to serve as a guide in 2018.
Source: Ghana News Agency