Stillbirth rate down in Ghana
Efforts to improve maternal and newborn health in Ghana's upper west region are yielding mixed results, an expert has noted.
According to Dr Kofi Issah, deputy director for the region at the Ghanaian health service, the stillbirth rate was three per cent last year, Ghana Business News reports.
However, he noted that it has since fallen to 2.2 per cent.
Nevertheless, the maternal death rate has gone up during 2012, with 11 women dying during the first six months of the year.
As a result, Dr Issah believes authorities in the country must step up their efforts to help save the lives of new mothers and their babies.
He noted that the shortage of midwives in the upper west region of Ghana is a particular problem, as is the lack of emergency facilities in the area.
Figures from the World Health Organization place the average life expectancy of women in the country at 64, although 69 babies out of every 1,000 live births are expected to die before the age of five.