The rate of deliveries through skilled birth attendants in the Upper West Region rose from 57 per cent in 2016 to 69 per cent in 2017, health officials said on Thursday.
The Wa Municipal, Sissala East, Nandom and Nadowli-Kaleo Districts are classified as high performing skilled delivery districts with the score of 60 per cent and above while Lambusie District is categorized as a low performing district with score mark below 40 per cent.
Dr Joseph Teye Nuertey, the Upper West Regional Director of Ghana Health Services, revealed this during the opening of a two-day Regional Health Performance Review meeting in Wa.
Stakeholders and partners in the health sector were praised for contributing to the achievement.
“From experience it is not easy to chalk such a success in skilled delivery,” Dr Nuertey said.
Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) deliveries in the Region, he said, continued to reduce from 2,063 (7 per cent) in 2015 to 1,599 (5 per cent) in 2016 and then to 920 (4 per cent) in 2017.
However, he expressed worry that stillbirths climbed from 299 in 2016 to 314 in 2017 while neonatal deaths also went up from 135 in 2016 to 149 in 2017, saying: “this is not a good situation.”
He noted that though maternal deaths increased from 25 in 2016 to 26 in 2017, the maternal mortality ratio decreased from 118 in 2016 to 103 in 2017 per 100,000 live births.
The family planning acceptor rate went up from 52 per cent in 2016 to 54 per cent in 2017 which Dr Nuertey said was still below the 60 per cent national target rate.
For couple years of protection, he said, it went up from 44,1008 in 2016 to 213,835 in 2017, explaining that the dramatic increase was due to their interest in the long term methods which he said was a positive move.
The Region, however, recorded a drop in ante natal care (ANC) coverage from 85.4 per cent in 2016 to 83.3 per cent in 2017.
The Director attributed the slight drop to the lack of registers which resulted in the capturing of poor data, but added that the second quarter of 2018 would witness a shift from the ante natal card to the combined maternal record book.
Sissala East District and Wa Municipal scored 90 per cent, qualifying them to fall within the high performing districts category in ANC.
Lawra, Nandom, Daffiama-Bussie-Issa, Jirapa, Lambussie and Wa West Districts were among the lower performing districts in the region for scoring below the average of 60 to 80 per cent in ANC coverage.
Mr Emmanuel Mwini, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at the Ministry of Health who delivered a speech on behalf of the Minister of Health, said the Ministry had taken note of the immense contribution the Region was making towards achieving the sector’s objective of improving overall health status of the public.
“The Ministry notes with contentment the progress made regarding malaria control particularly the significant reduction in mortalities due to malaria – it is an indication of improved diagnosis and treatment”, he said.
While commending them also for improving family planning coverage, Mr Mwini said the Ministry was also aware of areas where performance was low, especially maternal and neonatal health outcomes, and stressed the need to work assiduously to improve those areas.
The 2017 performance review was on the theme: “Achieving optimal data quality for enhancing planning, decision-making and implementation of health intervention in the Upper West Region”.