Maternal Deaths in Margibi 2nd Highest in Liberia

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C.H. Rennie Hospital in Kakata, Margibi County.

Next to Montserrado County

The Director of Community Health Services of the Margibi County Health Team has alarmed over the high rate of maternal mortality recorded at the C. H. Rennie Memorial Hospital, Liberia News Agency (LINA) Margibi County correspondent, Richard Baysah has reported.

James Varnie said the growing number of maternal deaths reported at the only government referral hospital is very alarming and needs to be curtailed before the situation goes from bad to worse.

Mr. Varnie made the disclosure at a gathering of residents, among them the county’s District # 3 Representative Ellen A. Attoh.

According to Varnie, from January to August 2018, there were a total of 28 maternal deaths recorded at the health facility, some of which were tallied by community-based health workers.

Babies mainly between one to five days old are the ones mostly being affected by the maternal deaths. As a result, the Ministry of Health has marked Margibi County as having the second highest maternal deaths, next to Montserrado County.

According to Varnie, the situation can also be attributed to mothers who are accustomed to home delivery, because they “only report cases when there are birth complications.”

“Many mothers are giving birth at home, because they lacked interest in the health facilities; they also lacked delivery kits and don’t have money to buy them, though many of them give birth at home. As such, their babies are delivered with lots of health complications, thus causing the newly born babies to die between one to five days old,” Mr. Varnie said.

Located in Margibi County District # 3, the C. H. Rennie Hospital caters to over 209,000 persons, but receive reports of health complications in catchment communities.

There are growing fears that if nothing is done to address the situation, it could get worse at the hospital, because the facility currently has a total bed space capacity of 85 rooms, five assigned medical doctors, four Physician’s Assistants, and more than 100 nurses. Yet, only 46 percent of the nurses and other health workers are on government payroll, while the rest are placed on incentives that are not very regular in coming to them.

C. H. Rennie Hospital Administrator, Mulbah Saywallah also said an amount of US$200,000 was allotted in the 2018- 2019 fiscal budget. He added that with this amount, 50 percent is used to purchase fuel to run the generator, something he said was “very little to run the hospital 24 hours a day.”

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