A Chartered Accountant is reportedly dead after she struggled with failure in delivery and having being given a fake Oxytocin when she began to bleeding excessively.   

Oxytocin is a peptide hormone and neuropeptide, it is normally produced by the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and released by the posterior pituitary.

It plays a role in social bonding, sexual production in both sexes, and during and after childbirth. Oxytocin is released into the bloodstream as a hormone in response to stretching of the cervix and uterus during labor and with stimulation of the nipples from breastfeeding.

This helps with birth, bonding with the baby and milk production.

Peter Kwame Yeboah, the Executive Director of the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG), had mentioned the sad incident while speaking in durbar organised by World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Presbyterian Hospital in Bawku to mark this year’s World Health Day in the Upper East region on Saturday April 7 2018.

He said, “A chartered accountant— a young beautiful lady who has just been married— gave birth and she was bleeding. The doctors administered the first shot, third, fifth and she passed on suddenly. When they had a maternal death audit, it was established that the substance served as Oxytocin was just water. And that is what we are experiencing”.

He however did not mention the name of the accountant who suffered the incident.

He said, “In recent times, Oxytocin, a drug used in saving mothers, has been counterfeited and has led to several missed opportunities to save the lives of women during birth.”

He added that, reports have shown that health facilities are administering fake medicines indicating that “counterfeit medicines constitute 25% of the medicines market in developing countries and it is worth about 700 billion dollars a year.”

“To a large extent,” remarked Mr. Yeboah, “this affects maternal and child health outcomes given that many of the emergency situations require quality medicines.”

Executive Director of CHAG, Peter Kwame Yeboah, addressing the durbar at Bawku.
Health Facilities protecting only Preferred Faces from Fake Drugs

Mr Yeboah while describing the state of Ghana's health sector said the health system has an image of a  ‘a selective-justice jungle’ whereby the health practitioners only look out for people he describes as ‘too rich to die’ or ‘too connected to be handed wrong drugs’.

“Let me recount one sad instance,” he said as an uneasy crowd doubled its attention. “A family member of mine was also sick. She had asthma. I went to a hospital and the doctor just told me, ‘Director, you are a big man. If we give this Salbutamol, you’ll not come and find this your relative [alive]. Go out there and buy’. I drove from Sunyani to Kumasi (a 76-mile driving distance of two and a half hours) within one hour— I don’t know how I did it.”

He continued: “When I came [back], she got saved. And I asked, ‘How many patients have died because of these fake medicines?’ And if [not for] the big-man mentality that was there (at the hospital), what would have happened? Do we need to know somebody in order to provide humane, compassionate services? Is that what we want?”

Politicians, Pastors, Chiefs blocking Universal Health Coverage

The Executive Director also took his raw anger to public figures he said were obstacles to efforts being made to achieve the theme for this year’s World Health Day— “Universal Health Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere.” — which is same as the global target of “Health for All by the year 2030”.

“In our attempt to ensure equitable distribution of health personnel across regions and needy communities, there have been challenges worth sharing. Posting of critical health staff to deprived segments of the country has become an intriguing experience.

“When it is time for postings, politicians, clergy, chiefs and all the big men in the society have preferences and would obstruct equitable posting with tough lobbying and pleas. Suddenly, some health professionals are professing CVA (strokes) for their parents just to get posted to their preferred areas,” he stated.

Mr. Yeboah hinted at plans by CHAG to help check counterfeit medicines in the country through what he called “a digitally supported supply chain system”. He also spoke of the need for stakeholders in the health sector to create and sustain an environment congenial enough for professional growth and development.

“We need coordinated efforts from all stakeholders to evolve innovative schemes and responsive conditions of service to attract and retain critical health personnel to deprived and needy segments. These should include essential training for health professionals, career development opportunities, out-of-turn promotions and enhanced subsistence packages for family among others,” he recommended.

General Manager of the Presbyterian Health Service North, Fred Effah-Yeboah, says his outfit has a role to play in promoting universal access to healthcare
Over 200 poor people in Bawku benefit from Presbyterian Hospital’s Fund

In celebrating the 2018 World Health Day, the Presbyterian Hospital at Bawku kept the limitations faced by poor people in accessing maternal and child healthcare services under a week-long spotlight.

Throughout the week, staff of the hospital lifted a banner through the streets of the municipality, displaying a sub-theme chosen for the event: “Maternal and Child Health— the Plight of the Poor.”

“We believe that attention ought to be given to the poor and vulnerable in terms of maternal and child health beyond the current efforts if we are committed to bringing down maternal and infant mortality. As a hospital, we recognise that we have a part to play in promoting access to health services for the poor in the maternal and child health.

“And for this reason, we operate a poor-and-sick fund by which we go to the aid of clients of our facility who are identified to be genuinely poor and needy. In 2007 alone, over 200 individuals benefited from [the fund] which translated to an amount of about 60,000 Ghana cedis,” said the General Manager of the Presbyterian Health Service North, Fred Effah-Yeboah, at the durbar.

According to CHAG, most of the maternal and child deaths are from “avoidable causes and circumstances, and, worst of all, they occur mostly in deprived communities where the poor and needy live.”