A report presented in Tamale by the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), on the achievements of a four-year programme in the East Mamprusi District in the Northern Region shows positive results.
He said since then it had advanced from being the worst-performing district in the region in terms of maternal deaths in 2010 to the best-performing district fighting maternal death in 2015.
In addition, he said institutional maternal mortality reduced by 131 per cent from 295 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2011 to 18 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2015.
Mr Ali said also that skilled assisted deliveries had increased from 43 per cent at baseline to 76 per cent at end line, indicating that the project assisted an additional 79,616 beneficiaries indirectly through assistance to family members and activities that had helped to remove cultural barriers to positive health behaviours by modifying harmful practices, rituals and beliefs.
He said the EPPICS project had two primary strategic objectives, to improve maternal and neonatal health outcomes and increase access to quality maternal and neonatal services for all families in the district, and was aimed at contributing to a sustainable maternal and newborn morbidity reduction in the East Mamprusi District.
Mr Ali said the project served 58,634 beneficiaries in the East Mamprusi District, including 30,713 women of reproductive age and 27,921 children under five years.
He advised pregnant women to seek early medical attention to enable health workers to detect and deal with preventable causes of maternal death associated with childbirth in the country, stressing that “EPPICS innovations contributes significantly to these district-wide gains by moving community members away from harmful rural health practices and toward use of formal health services”.
Mr Ali also indicated that the EPPICS project had helped all the 12 health facilities in the East Mamprusi District to improve service delivery and establish strong links with each of the 240 communities, building a powerful foundation for sustaining project gains and achieving MCH improvements.
The Northern Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Jacob Mahama, in an address read on his behalf said there was the need to sustain the project in the beneficiary communities, even after the project timeline, in order to achieve the purpose for which it was introduced.
The Northern Regional Minister, Mr Abdallah Abubakari, said the government would work with any organisation or NGO that is working to improve the health of expectant mothers in the region.
Source: radioxyzonline.com/with additional files from graphic