Assessing preparedness for obstetric emergencies at Kumasi South and Suntreso Hospitals

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Emergencies including obstetric emergencies are cited as a major threat to human life all over the world. Maternal mortality rate in Ghana has been high over the years with the average figure being 214 /100,000 live births. In Ashanti Region and Kumasi the figures were 270/100,000 and 380/100,000 live births for the year 2002 respectively. Contributions of a health care facility towards reducing deaths, suffering and disability would depend on how it is prepared with requisite resources, training, orientation and commitment to receive patients with emergency obstetric conditions and offer them appropriate and acceptable care. The Ashanti Regional Health Administration is interested in finding out the state of preparedness of the public health facilities within the Kumasi Metropolis to manage Clients whose conditions require emergency response. The study was conducted at Kumasi South and Suntreso Hospitals. The study had a cross - sectional design facilitated by the application of quantitative and qualitative data collection techniques and tools. Key finding was that some inadequacies exist in terms of personnel, facilities, equipment and supplies such as drugs. The preparedness to handle emergency obstetric conditions was inadequate to curb the high maternal mortality rate in the Kumasi Metropolis. It was recommended that Kumasi South Hospital should have an anesthetist. In addition it should have telephone facility in all units linked to the care of patients with emergency obstetric conditions. A functional blood bank should be established at Suntreso Hospital. Support services such as the laboratories, theatre and blood bank should operate on 24-hour basis. Policy to ensure daily inspection of emergency equipment must be instituted and operationalized. Implementation of these recommendations will help improve on preparedness to handle emergency obstetric conditions by these two Kumasi Metro hospitals.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Master of Science in Health Services Planning and Management, 2005