The Central Regional Health Directorate has identified eclampsia as the leading cause of maternal deaths in the region.
Eclampsia is a condition in which one or more convulsions occur in a pregnant woman suffering from high blood pressure, often followed by coma and posing a threat to the health of mother and baby.
Mr Richard Darko, Regional Information Officer of the Ghana Health Services (GHS) disclosed this at the Central Regional Coordinating Council meeting in Cape Coast.
He described the situation as disheartening and revealed Abura Aseibu Kwamankese (AAK), Komenda Edina Eguafo (KEEA), Mfantsiman, Awutu Senya East, Gomoa East, Gomoa West, Ajumako, Assin North and Effutu are among the predominant districts where eclampsia was wreaking havoc.
He said maternal deaths increased from 45 in the first quarter of 2016 to 48 in 2017 over the same period despite having improved on supervised delivery, family planning coverage and qualitative improvement in healthcare services.
That notwithstanding, he expressed the unwavering determination of the Directorate through increased public education, improvement in healthcare services and the adoption of more innovative and pragmatic measures to drastically reduce the maternal deaths in the region.
Touching on HIV/AIDS, Mr Darko said the HIV Sentinel Survey Report showed that the region had been recording a stagnated HIV prevalence rate of 1.8 percent in the last three years.
Health experts have attributed the increase to high illiteracy rate, poverty and perennial rural-urban migration for non-existent jobs as factors that predispose individuals to HIV infections.
Nonetheless, the Region did not record any case of cholera in 2017 despite registering 725 cases in the previous year. He explained that following the high cases of cholera in 2016, a number of health measures were put in place by the Health Directorate and other stakeholders to nip the situation in the bud.
He assured that the Directorate would continue to train staff in the management of malaria cases and provide on-site supportive supervision to improve diagnosis.
The GHS says the scaling up of CHPS activities, emergency care and preparedness, commodity security and supply chain, financial management and data quality improvement have been marked as priority areas in 2018.