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Northern region records 51 maternal deaths from January to July 2013


The Ghana Health Service is introducing a new vaccine to help prevent children aged 1 to 15 years against measles and rubella diseases. Health authorities say, rubella is a leading cause of congenital illness that is preventable.

A recent study by the Ghana health service in the northern region in 2013 on antenatal care indicates that, about 92 percent of women were positive of rubella virus.

The northern regional health directorate is targeting about 1.8 million including both children in school and out of school. Rubella diseases according to health experts kill children, cause blindness, deafness and deformities among children.

 Health authorities have also identified Mothers/fathers and Caregivers of children from 9 to 15 months as primary audiences in their bid to carry out the exercise.

 In an interview with Zaa News, Dr Jacob Mahama the Deputy Northern Regional Public Health Director  said any untoward medical occurrence follows immunization and which does not necessarily have a causal relationship with the usage of the vaccine.

The adverse effects he said may be any unfavourable or unintended sign, abnormal laboratory finding, symptom or disease. The vaccine can only bring what he described as  Local reaction (pain, tenderness) Fever, rash, lymph gland swelling anaphylactic reactions (other allergic reactions: itchiness)  and Joint pains.

Dr  Jacob Mahama stated  that achieving Measles elimination status in Ghana is a shared responsibility  and that everyone including health personnel must  endeavor  to    be on top of issues  so as to enable the country  prevent/manage rumors and ensure  public confidence in future programmes .

Measles-Rubella vaccination is given as an injection on the child’s left upper arm by a trained health worker. A new needle and a syringe will be used for every child and thereafter destroyed automatically. Even after the 2010 measles, subsequent campaigns have revealed some concerns from the general public:

On the maternal deaths, a total of fifty one (51) were recorded as at January to July 2013. Number of institutional maternal deaths by district also stood at fifty one (51) with Tamale leading by 58.8 percent.

This,   Dr Jacob Mahama said needs more efforts by everybody to reduce it. He said Ghana health service wants every mother to be safe but the challenges facing health authorities in the northern region are enormous and he therefore called on government to assist  GHS to prevent birth deaths.  

 He mentioned the main contributing factors to maternal deaths in the region as ignorance on the part of relatives, late referrals, delay in getting to the facility, inadequate monitoring and  delay at the facility to take decision.  Anaemia, eclampsia, unsafe abortion, haemorrhage and rupture ectopic pregnancy among others are said to be the major causes of maternal deaths in northern region. The region however has 22, Hospitals,    7 Polyclinics, 94 Health Centres, 43 Clinics,           7 Maternity Homes                      

And  181 Functional Community Health Improve Planning Services (CHIPS).



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