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Delays, Major Cause of Maternal Deaths in Ghana – Kybele Article

Ghanian News – Article by Michael Oti and Lucy Addison  (September 23, 2009)

The major cause of maternal deaths in Ghana has been attributed to delays in attending to women with complications in pregnancy.  Dr. Medge D. Owen of the Department of Anesthesiology at the Wake Forest University in the United States of America made this known when she led a medical team from the US to call on Dr. George Sipa Adjah Yankey, Minister of Health. 

She, therefore, stressed the need to attend quickly to women with complications in pregnancy when they report at the hospital.  The team, known as Kybele, is a US based non-governmental organization committed to reducing maternal and infant deaths.  Dr. Owen said since the team partnered [with] Ridge Hospital, there had been a 20 per cent reduction in maternal and infant mortality at the hospital.  That, she said, had been achieved without any significant increase in either hospital staff or equipment.    

Dr. Sipa Yankey, Minister for Health, responding, said that the ministry was grateful that the team was concerned about quality health delivery for Ghanaians.  He said the ministry would regularize and institutionalize visits of voluntary health workers to curtail challenges that they faced in their quest to work in Ghana.  

Dr. Yankey said it was the goal of the ministry to extend health care to the various communities in the country to reduce maternal and infant mortality.