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27 pregnant women die as Bawku conflict makes hospitals inaccessible

A senior health officer at the Upper East Regional Directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Majeed Sulemana, has disclosed that 27 pregnant women in need of critical medical attention died in the Bawku municipality between 2021 and 2022.

Pregnant women

This is due to the continuous conflict in Bawku in the Upper East region.

Majeed said 20 of the pregnant women died in 2021, seven had died by the end of December 2022.

According to him, "This is a result of the inability of the pregnant women to visit and receive medical care at the Bawku Presbyterian Hospital, the only major referral health facility in the heart of the municipality."

Sulemana who spoke to the Daily Graphic said the 27 maternal deaths recorded in the Bawku municipality accounted for 39 percent of the 70 maternal deaths recorded in the region for the two years and explained that the Bawku Hospital served patients from the municipality and others from the Pusiga, Garu, Tempane and Binduri districts due to the absence of district hospitals in those districts areas.

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He stressed that some of the pregnant women died due to their inability to get to the hospital, while others managed to get to the hospital but still passed on because of the limited number of staff, which resulted in delays in administering the required medical care.

"This has made it very difficult for such staff to come out of their homes to work since they fear for their lives, a development which continues to have a negative toll on the operations of the hospital.

"Definitely, there is high demand for transfer among staff, but if you want to grant everyone, there will not be any staff to work in the hospital," he noted.

The Bawku conflict has persisted over the years between the Mamprusis and Kusasis, leaving scores of people dead and others sustaining injuries.

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About 10 people reportedly perished in the recent disturbances.

Military personnel deployed to the area to restore peace have been accused of being behind the death of the residents.

Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga issued a statement accusing the military men in the town of killing seven civilians on Wednesday, February 1, 2023.

He alleged that the people were allegedly killed by the soldiers after several reports of gunfire across the Bawku township.

He added that in an attempt to maintain calm and discipline shot indiscriminately into locals who were running for cover and also attacked innocent people.

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