Obuasi East Health Directorate outlines measures to reduce stillbirth

The Obuasi East District Health Directorate is taking steps to address stillbirth as a health challenge confronting the district, Madam Delphine Gborgblovor, the District Director of Health Services has said.

She said though there had been a slight improvement in cases of stillbirth in the area, it remained a major challenge to the directorate.

A baby who dies after 28 weeks of pregnancy, before or during birth, is classified as a stillbirth.

Madam Gborgblovor was speaking at the 2022 Annual Performance Review meeting held at Wawase, to take stock of its performance over the past year, and to plan the way forward.

Madam Gborgblovor said her outfit had identified steps to reduce the incidence of stillbirth in the district and was working with relevant stakeholders to achieve that objective.

Annually, two million stillbirths with one every 16 seconds are recorded worldwide with over 40 per cent of all stillbirths occurring during labour, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

This, according to WHO, could be avoided with improved quality and care during childbirth, such as routine monitoring and timely access to emergency obstetric care when required.

“To address this issue, we have intensified home visits, with community health workers receiving training to educate households on the causes and prevention of stillbirth,” the District Health Director stated.

She further disclosed that the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Dr Patrick Boakye Yiadom, had also distributed home visit bags and educational materials to nurses, enabling them to visit houses to provide care and education to pregnant women.

She advised pregnant women to avoid the use of un-prescribed drugs, particularly herbal medicines, and to be punctual at antenatal clinics to ensure early detection of any anomaly.

On the HIV prevalence rate in the district, the health Director revealed that there had been a surge in HIV/AIDS infection rate across the country due to poor awareness creation of the causes and prevention of the disease.

She encouraged the people in the district to get tested to know their status and urged those already diagnosed positive to continue to take their medications.

The Director assured that the District Health Directorate would continue to support health facilities with logistics, training, staffing, and other relevant support to improve healthcare delivery.

The district, she noted, performed well in key areas such as immunization coverage, family planning acceptor rate, and Institutional Maternal Mortality ratio.

The Directorate as part of the meeting awarded selected health facilities and workers for their outstanding performances during the year under review.