The Upper East Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Winfred Ofosu, has disclosed that a pregnant woman and a new born baby died at separate health facilities in the region for lack of vehicles to transport the expectant mothers to referred facilities on time for save delivery.
He recalled that “About three weeks ago we lost a pregnant woman in one of our facilities because when the midwife realized the woman could not give birth at that level due to emerging complication, there was no vehicle to transport the pregnant woman on time to the nearest facility for appropriate care.”
“In another facility, just about same time, a pregnant woman lost her baby she had carried for nine months because she had difficulty getting a vehicle to the hospital following referral,” the Director said.
Dr. Ofosu made the disclosure at a brief handing over ceremony of 50 tricycle ambulances to the Upper East Regional Health Directorate by the Government of Korea through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in Bolgatanga, as part of a five-year KOICA Community-based Health Planning Services – plus (CHPS-Plus) project implemented in 13 districts of the region.
He said “these two cases illustrate the importance of receiving these motor king (tricycle) ambulances from the project today. It will help the region transport parents and avert such deaths in our communities and enhance the work of health workers.”
The Director said the gesture would enable the region strengthen the Sustainable Emergency Referral Care (SERC) for better outcomes, adding that “transportation is a critical component of emergency care system.”
Deputy Upper East Regional Minister, Frank Fuseini Adongo, in his address, observed that the challenge for health managers and policy makers had been how to accelerate efforts at halving maternal and neonatal mortalities in the region.
He said while development partners demonstrate goodwill, the Government of Ghana would continue to play its role in health service delivery. “The President, His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has brought new impetus and focus on emergency health care in the country.
“Our determination to ensure one district, one ambulance is on course as procurement processes are in motion. Government is also in the process of establishing a National Emergency Centre to coordinate evacuation of patients in need across the country for prompt care.”
Mr. Adongo, who is the Member of Parliament for the Zebilla Constituency, said to improve the functionality of CHPS facilities and emergency care, it would require more efforts from stakeholders, and called on traditional authorities to take keen interest in the work of the health facilities, and lead more community mobilizations for healthcare delivery.