A 2022 WHO survey of 47 African countries found that the region has a ratio of 1.55 health workers (physicians, nurses, and midwives) per 1000 people, below the WHO threshold density of 4.45 health workers per 1000 people needed to deliver essential health services and achieve universal health coverage.”
It noted that 65% of births in Africa are attended by skilled health personnel – the lowest globally and far off the 2030 target of 90%, adding that “skilled birth attendants are crucial for the well-being of women and newborns.
Neonatal deaths account for half of all under-5 mortality. Accelerating the agenda to meet its reduction goal will be a major step toward reducing the under-5 mortality rate to fewer than 25 deaths per 1000 live births.
Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, said the campaign was critical to accelerating the decline of maternal mortality from 308 out of every 1,000 live births to 70 by 2030, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
A new report, the Atlas of Health Statistics 2022, estimated that, in sub-Saharan Africa, 390 women will die in childbirth for every 100 000 live births by 2030. This is more than five times above the 2030 SDG target of fewer than 70 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births and much higher than the average of 13 deaths per 100 000 live births witnessed in Europe in 2017.
“It is more than double the global average of 211. To reach the SDG target, Africa will need an 86% reduction from 2017 rates, the last time data was reported, an unrealistic feat at the current rate of decline,” the report said.
The region’s infant mortality rate is 72 per 1000 live births. At the current 3.1% annual rate of decline, there will be an expected 54 deaths per 1000 live births by 2030, far above the reduction target of fewer than 25 per 1000.
Reacting to the Atlas report, WHO Regional Director for Africa, said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said: “This means that for many African women, childbirth remains a persistent risk and millions of children do not live long enough to celebrate their fifth birthday.”
Physician and chief executive officer of Medway Health, Dr Omotuyi Mebawondu, has expressed concern that despite the worldwide reduction in maternal mortality rate, sub–Saharan Africa still accounts for two third of an average of 800 daily deaths of women from pregnancy and its complications.
Africa’s Maternal Deaths Need Urgent Action to Meet SDG Goals | Inter Press Service (ipsnews.net)
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