Maternal deaths in the Upper East Regional hospital has reduced from eight in 2018 to four in 2019, representing a fifty per cent decrease in maternal mortality, Dr Samuel Aborah, the Acting Medical Director of the hospital said.
"The hospital delivered a total of 3,267 women with 1,046 through Caesarean Section. This huge reduction in maternal mortality came with huge cost by way of hiring locum Doctors", Dr Aborah said.
Dr Aborah who was speaking at the hospital's 2019 performance review in said there was remarkable improvement in almost all areas of priority attention of the hospital, and noted that the success of every health delivery system depended on interventions put in place to cater for the needs of clients.
He said the Out-Patient Department (OPD) for the first time in seven years, crossed a 100, 000 mark in attendance, saying, "OPD attendance increased by 15.7 per cent while admissions also increased by 7.2 per cent."
Dr Aborah who doubles as the hospital's Clinical Coordinator, noted that clients of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) accounted for 96 and 92 per cent of OPD attendance and admissions respectively, which brought enormous pressure on staff, some of whom he said were excellent on the job.
He explained that in spite of the increase in admissions, death rate remained at four per cent, which was the second lowest in the last five years, adding that, "This attests to the improvement in quality health care delivery in this hospital."
The Acting Director indicated that the death rate among NHIA clients was 3.7 per cent while the non-insured was 8.2 per cent, and encouraged members of the public to register and renew their NHIA subscription status regularly.
Dr Aborah said the facility's New Born Care Unit continued to make good strides in new born care, and disclosed that the new born care unit had 1,166 admissions with total deaths of 104.
He noted that the hard work of staff of the New Born Unit earned the hospital a high powered visit by UNICEF Directors from West, East and Central Africa, who assured the facility of their continuous support to improve health care service delivery.
Mr Sabastian Alagpulinsa, the Upper East Regional Director of the NHIA explained that due to the challenges faced by the Insurance Authority, only four months claims made by the hospital in 2019, had been paid.
He conceded that slowness of payments was not the best since it affected the delivery of quality health care in the Region.
"Going forward, we need to improve on our payment to service providers and related operations of the scheme to help all of us as partners to consolidate the gains made so far by the scheme not only in the region but the country as a whole."
Naba Baba Salifu Atamale Leemyarum, the Paramount Chief of the Bongo Traditional Area, who chaired the programme, appealed for support for the hospital's "Needy Child Fund," an initiative instituted last year to help the sick and needy children on admission at the facility to access quality health care delivery, within and outside the Region.
The Paramount Chief, who is also the Chairman of the hospital's Advisory Board, called on the management of the facility to put measures in place to be able to respond efficiently to any Coronavirus attack, and cautioned that "The virus can enter from anywhere, so do not think that we are not closer to the airport in Accra and therefore we are free."