Maternal Mortality in Ghana

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  • Published : January 23, 2013
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Question:
Advice the Ministry of Health on how to deal with Maternal Mortality in Ghana

Maternal mortality is the death of a woman during pregnancy or within 42 days at the end of pregnancy from causes aggravated by the pregnancy but not from incidental causes. A woman’s risk of death in childbirth over the course of her life may be due to many factors including the number of children she already has, spacing of the births, conditions under which she gives birth and her own health and nutritional status. 99 percent (%) of maternal deaths occurs in the developing countries. Maternal deaths happen for two (2) reasons; a direct obstetrical death which is caused by complications that develops directly as a result of pregnancy, delivery or postpartum period. An indirect obstetric death which is due to existing medical conditions that are made worse by pregnancy or delivery. In Ghana, most cases of maternal mortality are recorded in the rural areas. There are five major medical causes of direct obstetric death; hemorrhage (28%), complication of unsafe abortion (19%), pregnancy induced hypertension (17%), infection (11%) and obstructed labor (11%). Direct obstetric deaths accounts for about 25% of all deaths in developing countries of which Ghana is included. In dealing with this socio-medical challenge, the Ministry of Health can adopt these measures to solve the problem. An Improved Antenatal Care Services.

The Ministry of Health should make provisions to improve on antenatal services offered to women at the various health institutions as this is one of the most important ways of reducing maternal deaths. This can be done by providing all needed logistics to facilitate a better service. In the rural areas where the high deaths are recorded and there are no health facilities functional Community based health planning and services (CHPS) compounds should be built and provided with all needed resources and skilled personnel’s to discharge their duties...
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