Dr Jacob Mahama, the Northern Regional Director of Health Services, has disclosed that the region recorded 57 maternal deaths in mid-year in 2015 saying “The country is likely to miss out of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) targets”.
He said the region recorded 212 maternal deaths in 2012, 99 in 2013, 66 in 2014, and blamed the situation on many women relying on Traditional Birth Attendants for delivery, instead of delivery at the hospitals.
Dr Mahama disclosed this in Tamale on Wednesday during a training of trainers workshop organized by SEND-Ghana to train community members.
The beneficiaries would sensitize and link pregnant women to hospitals for delivery, under the Improving Maternal Health through Participatory Governance (IMPROVE) project.
IMPROVE is a three-year project being implemented by SEND-Ghana in 30 districts in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions, with a 700,000-Euro fund from the European Union.
Dr Mahama said this year marked the completion point of the MDG targets, yet Ghana still faced numerous challenges relating to the maternal mortality target.
He said about 53 per cent of deliveries in the region were done at home instead of hospitals, noting that traditional practices and customs were equally militating against ending maternal mortality.
He entreated pregnant women to see the hospitals as their first point of call for pre-natal and post-natal care, to ensure healthier families.
Dr Mahama said excessive bleeding after birth and infection during delivery due to poor hygiene, were the leading causes of maternal mortality.
Mr John Nkaw, the Northern Region Programmes Manager of SEND-Ghana, said the trainees were to serve as community champions to undertake further down streaming of information on maternal health through peer to peer sensitization to promote positive health.
He said the beneficiaries were men and women who were influential in their communities, noting that their actions would discourage negative attitudes and practices that were hazardous to maternal health.
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