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‘Health Sector Needs Resources To Save Lives’


The Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Ali Samba has expressed with embitterment, government’s inability to provide the necessary resources that would enable the health sector fight the menace of maternal mortality.

Speaking at the colloquium for Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA), held in Accra yesterday, he said it was one thing for the Ministry of Health (MOH) to declare a “Zero Tolerance” for maternal deaths but failure to provide proper interventions defeats the campaign.

“If we continue the way we are doing, we are not going to achieve anything… a pregnant woman comes and I can’t even check her haemoglobin when she is in labour, she is bleeding and I don’t have blood because blood transfusion service is virtually zero…we need to strengthen the institutions,” Dr Samba said.

He continued: “Taking my departments for now, I need equipment. I have three theatres that I can do obstetric surgeries but currently I have one and half because I don’t have an aesthetic machine, my bed is broken down, doing vacuum extraction is a challenge for me because all the extraction machines have broken down…scissors are not cutting.”

According to the doctor, Korle-bu alone handles close to 90 patients, managed by only two midwives and conducts about 22 caesarean sessions during peak seasons.

“We need staffing…I need my ICU to be fixed…with all these, what quality service can we provide?” Dr Samba asked.


As it stands, 319 mothers out of 100, 000 die of maternal related complications including unsafe abortion and one out of 36 girls die from maternal causes before reaching age 39.


CARMMA is an African Union (AU) campaign launched in May 2009 with an objective is to expand the availability and use of universally accessible quality health services, including those related to sexual and reproductive health that are critical for the reduction of maternal mortality.

Source: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/



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