The Northern Region (N/R) continues to suffer the consequences of low number of midwives as 53 per cent of all deliveries recorded in the region in 2011 were performed by Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA).

The situation is among chief factors accounting for the high maternal mortality figure of 57 for the second quarter of 2012, half way through the 114 recorded for 2011.

Dr Akwasi Twumasi, Northern Regional Director, Ghana Health Services, disclosed this in Tamale on Tuesday at a meeting with a ten-member Friends of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) delegation from the United States.

The group is visiting the region to acquaint itself with issues confronting women and families and how UNFPA responses support them.

Friends of UNFPA is a US based non-profit organization that advances UNFPA?s global effort by mobilizing funds and action for life saving work by the Fund.

The visit to Ghana forms part of the organisation?s annual visit to field offices.

The delegation, which arrived in the country on October 13th, will spend seven working days  visiting selected health facilities in Greater Accra, Northern, Upper East and the Central Regions supported under the UNFPA?s fifth Country Programme (2006-2011).

Some of the projects supported by the UNFPA in the N/R include capacity building for midwives, equipping health facilities to provide adequate services to clients, provision of motor bicycles, and assistance in the building of the Tamale Fistula Centre.

Dr Twumasi said poor maternal care and delivery also caused fistula in the women since delay in getting treatment during labour or child delivery result in the abnormal tearing of tissue.

He also mentioned other causes of maternal mortality in the region as failure to attend hospital when pregnant, and haemorrhage, and appealed to donors to supply his outfit with more blood bank refrigerators to save the situation.

The Regional Chief Doctor said the Regional Health Directorate had also mounted campaigns such as ?Men as Partners? programme, which involved educating men to appreciate maternal issues and sending their pregnant wives to hospital to help reduce the high trend of maternal mortality in region.

Source: GNA

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