Maternal health care initiatives: Causes of morbidities and mortalities in two rural districts of Upper West Region, Ghana

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Sumankuuro, Joshua ; Crockett, Judith ; Wang, Shaoyu (2017)
  • Publisher: Figshare
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0183644
  • Subject: Medicine | Cell Biology | Biotechnology | Developmental Biology | Cancer | Science Policy | Infectious Diseases | Computational Biology | ghana health service | mortality | mortalitie | 240 community residents | upper west region | health services | district | morbiditie | maternal health care initiatives | focus group discussions | method mixed methods approach | ghana background maternal | hiv

<div><p>Background</p><p>Maternal and neonatal morbidities and mortalities have received much attention over the years in sub-Saharan Africa; yet addressing them remains a profound challenge, no more so than in the nation of Ghana. This study focuses on finding explanations to the conditions which lead to maternal and neonatal morbidities and mortalities in rural Ghana, particularly the Upper West Region.</p><p>Method</p><p>Mixed methods approach was adopted to investigate the medical and non-medical causes of maternal and neonatal morbidities and mortalities in two rural districts of the Upper West Region of Ghana. Survey questionnaires, in-depth interviews and focus group discussions were employed to collect data from: a) 80 expectant mothers (who were in their second and third trimesters, excluding those in their ninth month), b) 240 community residents and c) 13 healthcare providers (2 district directors of health services, 8 heads of health facilities and 3 nurses).</p><p>Result</p><p>Morbidity and mortality during pregnancy is attributed to direct causes such urinary tract infection (48%), hypertensive disorders (4%), mental health conditions (7%), nausea (4%) and indirect related sicknesses such as anaemia (11%), malaria, HIV/AIDS, oedema and hepatitis B (26%). Socioeconomic and cultural factors are identified as significant underlying causes of these complications and to morbidity and mortality during labour and the postnatal period. Birth asphyxia and traditional beliefs and practices were major causes of neonatal deaths.</p><p>Conclusion</p><p>These findings provide focused targets and open a window of opportunity for the community-based health services run by Ghana Health Service to intensify health education and promotion programmes directed at reducing risky economic activities and other cultural beliefs and practices affecting maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality.</p></div>
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