The 2017 Promote Maternal and Infant Survival Excellence (PROMISE) Conference has opened in Accra with a call on health workers to address the challenges of their referral systems.
Dr Emmanuel Srofenyo, a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the Ridge Hospital, who made the call on Wednesday, said 70 per cent of key avoidable factors to death is health system related with poor referral systems of “Merry go round and bouncing” of patients amounting to a major cause of maternal mortality cases in the country.
He also mentioned the unavailability of emergency drugs and patients inability to purchase when they were available as another cause of maternal mortality

Dr Srofenyo, therefore, pointed out Greater Accra Region as among the highest regions with maternal mortality with the Ridge Hospital, Tema General Hospital, Korle-Bu and 37 Military Hospital being the four topmost hospitals.
“Ridge Hospital recorded 30, Tema General Hospital 43, Korle-Bu 62 and 37 Military Hospital 47; amounting to 25 per cent of deliveries and 77 per cent deaths in 2016,” he said.
He said out of the 197 deaths recorded in the Greater Accra Region, 100 were as a result of haemorrhage with Hypertension taking a chunk of the remaining figure in 2016.

Dr Srofenyo indicated that from five years, Macerated Still Birth (MSB) had exceeded Fresh Still Birth (FSB), adding “In 2015, MSB stood at 227 whilst FSB was at 177; however Ridge Hospital recorded 59 Still Birth (SB).”
According to Dr Srofenyo conditions of abortions increased over the years but had now reduced to SB.
On Eclampsia related cases, the Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the Ridge Hospital noted high cases were recorded in 2016.

He said according to statistics, 111 Eclampsia cases were recorded, while 459 Pre-Eclampsia cases came up with 94 cases being recorded as imminent-Eclampsia cases.
He noted that even though health workers could prevent women from getting such conditions, there was the need for its prevention.
Dr Linda A. Vanotoo, the Accra Regional Health Director, said the PROMISE conference which started in 2009, had become an annual event for health workers to engage to review their performances and see how well they were doing in their task of taking care of patients.

She said the purpose is that “Year, month and weeks we look at how to record the hospital data and also record those who have unfortunately pass away.
“So we use this opportunity to share the best practice some amongst ourselves and share ideas used by fellow colleagues in solving some of these challenges.” Dr Vanotoo observed that Health is dynamic and health workers coming together annually helped them to update themselves in terms of what was in existence.
She, therefore, called for collective efforts towards ending child mortality as the area under discussion called for everyone’s attention.

Addressing participants on the theme: “Mothers and Babies Count; Save their Lives”, Mr Charles Brown-Davies, the Greater Accra Region Health Information Officer, said in five years, a total of 1,006 maternal deaths had been recorded with a total of 9,736 SB also recorded in the Region.
He mentioned the Accra Metro, Ga West, Ga South and Shai Osudoku districts as the highest deliveries with the months of April, May, October and November having the peak records.

Mr Brown-Davies attributed the high level of conception to some festive month in the metropolis.
“Trends in SB ranged from May, October and November, however, maternal deaths were high in the La-Nkwantanang, Tema Metro and Accra Metro especially in the months of April, May, June, October and November.
“However, deliveries peak were not uniform, as positive linear relations was between deliveries and SB.” he said.

Some participants who spoke to the Ghana News Agency called for a sense of urgency among health workers where they would learn to acquaint themselves with best practices in maternal healthcare instead of missing the critical points in the sector.
The two-day conference brought together stakeholders in the health sector to discuss and share knowledge about how to move maternal healthcare system of the country especially in the Greater Accra Region forward.