Teenage pregnancy and unsafe abortions have become a worrying phenomenon in the Jirapa District of the Upper West Region.

Teenage pregnancies increased from 251 in 2015 to 340 in 2016 while unsafe abortions moved from 28 in 2015 to 34 in 2016.

Madam Phoebe Balagumyetime, Jirapa District Director of Health Services, who made this known at the 2016 annual performance review meeting in Jirapa, said two maternal deaths were however recorded last year compared to five in 2015. She said one of the deaths was as a result of unsafe abortion.

Madam Balagumyetime said: “This is really of grave concern and all stakeholders must marshal efforts to curb this growing menace”. She said there had also been a rising trend in malnutrition from 26.4 percent in 2015 to 27.7 percent in 2016.

The Health Directorate had however succeeded in managing those cases and had a cure rate of 100 per cent. She said the Health Directorate had also put in place innovations including male involvement, community health action plans and community emergency transport systems to facilitate referrals.

Some Community Based Health Planning and Service zones had mobilised their communities to build maternity rooms to facilitate skilled delivery. On utilisation of facilities, Madam Balagumyetime said total Out-Patient Department (OPD) attendance was 90,187 with an attendance per capita of 0.91 compared to a total of OPD attendance of 80,894 with an attendance per capita of 0.83 in 2015 during the same period.

Malaria continued to be a nagging problem accounting for 25.6 per cent of total OPD attendance in the district.