A Principal Physician Assistant in- charge of the Busunu Health Center in the West Gonja Municipality of the Savannah Region Mr Kantamah Abdul Ganiyu has called on the government to provide free rides for obstetric emergencies in the municipality.
According to him, obstetric emergencies are life-threatening to pregnant women and their unborn babies in the municipality.
Mr. Ganiyu noted that obstetric emergencies such as postpartum haemorrhage, abruption of placenta, placentae praevia, obstructed labour among others may arise at any time during pregnancy, labour and birth which requires specialist care at a hospital.
“In the year 2020, maternal mortality in Ghana stood at 776 per 100,000 lives (WHO Africa,2021).
This figure is far in excess of the SDG target 3.1, reducing global maternal mortality to less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030”, he said.
He stated that the delay in deciding to seek care, reaching the health facility and receiving care are known to be associated with the deaths of women during pregnancy globally.
Speaking in an interview with Class News’ Zion Abdul Rauf he said ''It's disheartening reading from the news on how a 31-year-old pregnant mother who underwent Caesarian Section at the Holy Child Catholic Hospital in the Fijai area of the Western Region who was expected to be transported to Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital for specialist care on January 4, 2021 died in an ambulance due to her husband’s inability to raise enough money to fuel the ambulance''.
''What happened to our dear sister was just a tip of the iceberg, since many undocumented maternal deaths are occurring in our communities as a result of difficulty in raising enough money to transport pregnant women for specialist care at a higher facility,” he stated.
The Physician Assistant recounted how health practitioners nearly lost a young lady in 2015 at Talatuma, a remote community in the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District in similar incident adding that they called on the ambulance at that time and was told they needed to pay about GHS90 for her to be transported to the Bole hospital.
“This was a young lady in a pool of blood whom we struggled to cart across streams with a tricycle to the Gindabo Health centre and who had no penny on her. We had to resort to the use of commercial vehicle which transported her on credit. Later on, I had to go to the community to appeal for support to settle the debt,” he narrated.
He, therefore, appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Members of Parliament, the Minister of Health, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana National Ambulance Service to consider rolling out free ride for obstetric emergencies just as is been done for road traffic accident victims.
“This when rolled out will assist in the reduction of maternal deaths to the barest minimum and enhance health delivery in the area,” he stated.