Upper West Region’s Health Sector Review Reveals Concerning Trends and Promising Progress

The Upper West Region’s health landscape has experienced both challenges and successes, as highlighted in the 2023 annual regional health sector performance review meeting held in Wa. Dr. Damien Punguyire, the Regional Director of Health Service, delivered notable insights during the event.

In a concerning revelation, Dr. Punguyire reported a rise in maternal deaths, with 19 recorded in 2023 compared to 16 in the previous year. Additionally, the proportion of deliveries supervised by qualified health workers saw a slight decline from 73% to 71% over the same period.

Despite these challenges, there were notable improvements in certain health indicators. Dr. Punguyire mentioned a decrease in institutional neonatal mortality from 6 to 5 per 1000 live births and a reduction in stillbirth rates from 11 to 7 per 1000 births between 2022 and 2023.

Anemia among pregnant women, however, remained a persistent issue, increasing from 39.8% to 44.2% in 2023. On a more positive note, the proportion of Out-Patient Department (OPD) cases attributable to malaria decreased from 29.4% to 27.5%, with significant reductions in malaria admissions and deaths.

Dr. Punguyire emphasized the importance of addressing weaknesses in the sub-district health system, proposing the development of networks of practice among health facilities to enhance service delivery and upgrade health centers to Model Health Centers.

Speaking on behalf of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Mr. Eric Boateng Frimpong underscored the significance of Primary Health Care (PHC) in achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC). He highlighted the GHS’s achievements in reducing stillbirth and neonatal mortality rates over the past five years, indicating a positive trajectory in healthcare outcomes.

The event, chaired by Professor Juventus Ziem, provided a platform for stakeholders in the health sector to evaluate progress and strategize for improved service delivery to the population.

As the region navigates through challenges and celebrates successes, the commitment to building a resilient health system remains paramount in achieving equitable access to high-quality healthcare for all residents.

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