The Upper East region of Ghana in 2016 recorded 37 maternal deaths.

This is according to the Regional Health Directorate at the 2016 annual performance review meeting held in Bolgatanga in the Upper East region.

In 2011, the region recorded 37 maternal deaths, 38 deaths in 2012, and 34 in 2013. In 2014 and 2015, the region recorded 47 and 30 maternal deaths respectively.

READ ALSO: Smoking marijuana linked with higher risk of stroke - Study reveals

The Upper East Regional director of the Health Services, Dr. Kofi Issah, said the numbers recorded are mainly due to Postpartum Haemorrhage, Anemia, Sepsis and unsafe abortion among others.

“But once a mother dies, it’s a whole system issue and the end is what happens at the hospitals. For instance, you find women in this region having poor nutritional status, which predisposes them to problems when they get pregnant.  You find out that the issues lay outside of our purview, it has to do with household income, it has to do with agric, it has to do with household utilization and so on.”

READ ALSO: Doctors 'cure' teenager of disease in France

“The causes of maternal mortality have gone beyond the traditional causes of maternal deaths, to socio-economic factors, if you watch women of high education and economic status, they would not have died unless there is something very underlining in pregnancy. So reproductive health education is key to reducing maternal mortality” he said.

“…what are the emergency systems? You are in the village and all of a sudden you are in labor, and the last market car has gone what do you do? There is also the issue of bad road network in parts of the region. So it is our ability to react when there are pregnancy complications for the systems to mobilize, community, government, health systems to save more lives.”

Dr. Issah pleaded with pregnant women to seek early antenatal care during pregnancy to avoid high risk of complications during delivery.