Health facilities in Upper West recorded 10 maternal deaths within the period of January to June, 2018, showing a reduction from last year’s figure of 13 within the same period.
The Region has generally seen a significant decrease in institutional maternal deaths from 703 recorded in 2017 to 563 in 2018 registered in the half-year of the same period.
Dr Abdulai Abukari, the Acting Upper West Regional Director of Health Services, disclosed this during the 2018 half year health sector performance review meeting in Wa.
It was on the theme: “Mobilising Resources for Enhancing Health Service Delivery in the Upper West Region: the Role of Stakeholders”.
Under-five mortality rate also decreased from 10.6/1,000 live births in January to June 2017 to 7.2/1,000 live births in the same period in 2018.
“This therefore brings our institutional maternal deaths ratio to 105.1/1,000,000 live births for the 2018 half year compared to 118/1,000,000 live births for the same period,” he said.
Meanwhile, in 2018, within the same half-year period, the Region recorded 401,567 Out-Patient-Department (OPD) attendances as compared to 391,983 in 2017.
OPD per capita, however, remained the same at 0.9 which fell below the regional target of 1.00 while the proportion of insured patients at OPD decreased from 96.4 percent in 2017 to 90.9 percent in 2018 within the period under review.
Total hospital admissions decreased from 35,286 in the half year period in 2017 to 33,764 for same period of 2018.
Dr. Abukari indicated that malaria, Respiratory Tract Infections, Diarrhea diseases, Rheumatism and Skin diseases were still the top five causes of OPD attendance.
He said under-five malaria deaths in health facilities in the Region have dropped from 11 in 2017 to seven for the first half of 2018 although the case fatality remained virtually the same at 0.3 per 1,000.
He attributed the achievement to interventions such as Indoor Residual Spraying, the use of insecticide Treated bed Nets and the Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention.
Dr. Abukari said TB continued to pose as a major health threat in the region, noting that out of a target of detecting 377 cases for the period under review, they were only able to detect only 117 cases.
He said the challenge they faced had to do with low index of suspicion and stigma and appealed to the general public to report to health facilities for screening when suffering from cough, stressing that TB was curable and that treatment was free.
Dr. Abukari announced that through the effort of government and development partners, the region received two more Gene Xpert machines this year to support in the diagnosis of TB.
He said one of the Neglected Tropical Diseases they were battling in the region was Leprosy as they were able to detect 26 new cases during the period under review as compared with 17 new cases during the same period last year.
“Treatment for Leprosy is also free and so let us all fight stigma associated with Leprosy which is a challenge for us in the region”, he appealed.