Dr Winfred Ofosu, the Upper East Regional Director of Health Services has said that the implementation of the Mother Baby Friendly Facility Health Initiative (MBFHI) in some selected districts in the Upper East Region is making positive strides and improving quality of health care.
The Regional Director made the commendation at the Bongo-Soe community during the handing over of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities to six health centers in the region by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), with financial support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and supervised by the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA)
He said, "the Upper East Region, in the last few years, had recorded the highest regional proportion of skilled deliveries in the country. In 2018, the region recorded 70.6 per cent skilled delivery, 71.3 per cent Post-natal care and 79.1 per cent of pregnant women attending ante-natal care for at least four times before delivery.
"Additionally, maternal mortality ratio reduced from 137.5 per 100,000 live births in 2017 to 91.4 per 100,000 live births in 2018. Stillbirth rate also reduced from 1.3 per 1000 live births in 2017 to 1.2 per 1000 live births in 2018".
According to the Regional Director, the Bongo District did not record any maternal death in 2018 and the newborn care unit was able to ensure the survival of an 800 grammes baby.
This, Dr Ofosu indicated, was as a result of the immense contribution of the MBFHI project being implemented by UNICEF and the Bill and Melinda Foundation in the Bolgatanga and Bawku Municipalities, and the Kassena-Nankana West and Bongo Districts.
The WASH facilities, which cost about GHC662,653.10, consist of mechanized water systems fitted with overhead tanks and taps, toilet facilities in all the units in the various health centers among others.
The beneficiary communities are Sumbrungu and Sherigu in the Bolgatanga Municipal, Chiana and Kayoro in the Kassena-Nankana West District, and Bongo-Soe and Anafobiisi in the Bongo District.
Dr Ofosu expressed gratitude to the UNICEF and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for providing the WASH facilities to the deprived health centers, and added that, it was a big boost to solving the water shortage problems that have bedeviled most of the health centers in the region.
He said the gesture would significantly facilitate delivery of quality care services in those areas, leading to the achievement of the Universal Health Coverage at the primary levels and the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly, goal three.
The Regional Director, however, appealed to UNICEF and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other development partners to extend similar support to other deprived health centers across the region and mentioned the Namoo and Sirigu Health centers.
Mr John-Bosco Atampugre, the Physician Assistant In-charge of the Bongo-Soe Health Center, explained that before the intervention, the health center had acute water shortage and struggled to get water for washing used instruments and after attending to clients, and said clients could hardly get water to bath, especially after delivery.
He said with this intervention, the health center, which records about 26 deliveries every month and 80 OPD attendants everyday, would improve on its performance and prevent infections.
He explained that the gesture would not only boost clients' confidence and improve attendance but would further boost the morale of staff to deliver quality services.