RISE IN MATERNAL DEATHS AT HOSPITALS … TEWARIE: Good work in Law, Economy; Not in Health Care performance

Planning Minister Dr Bhoe Tewarie said yesterday there have been “positive interventions” in the areas of crime and law and order, economic growth, job creation and competitiveness and innovation in the country.

However, there was negative growth in areas like the murder detection rate, the contribution of agriculture to the Gross Domestic Product and health care services, especially in the area of maternal mortality.

Tewarie gave this overview yesterday at the media launch of the 2014 Annual Performance Report, and the National Monitoring and Evaluation Policy (M&E) at the Eric Williams Financial Complex, St Vincent Street, Port of Spain.

The third report was the first of its kind, took two years to compile and went as far as August 2014.

Improvement in crime detection

On the area of Crime and Law and Order, Tewarie said: “It does not engage in public relations. It tells you exactly what happened.

“Over the four-year period, four of the six indicators, that is crime detection rate, crime rate, recidivism rate and time taken for cases from start to determination suggested an upward movement of general improvement.

“Indicators such as the crime detection rate showed marked improvement from 16.8 per cent in 2010 to 22 per cent in 2014.”

Tewarie added: “However an area of concern is the murder detection rate. An analysis of the indicator has shown the need for continued efforts to be invested in this area.”

Moving to agriculture and food security, Tewarie said: “A significant achievement was recorded with respect to food inflation. The desired target of a 25 per cent reduction rate in the food inflation rate surpassed as the food inflation rate was recorded at 15.68 per cent by September 2014.

“At the same time, two indicators the percentage employment in Agriculture and the percentage contribution of agriculture to the Non-Energy GDP showed marginal growth over the same reporting period.”

In the area of health care services and hospitals, Tewarie said: “Under the key result of A Fit and Healthy Nation, five of the seven indicators, that is non-communicable disease morbidity and mortality rate,OBESITY rate, registered patients at the St Ann’s Psychiatric Unit, Adult HIV prevalence and tuberculosis mortality rate demonstrated good to moderate performance. The diabetes mortality rate fell short of its target and may suggest efforts to be concentrated in this area.”

Tewarie added: “Under the key result area of first class health care performance, few indicators performed well over the period. Of the nine indicators, two, namely the physician professionals per 10,000 people and the nursing professionals per 10,000 people exceeded their target, while the national mortality rate and the number of complaints made, fell below their desired targets, and, therefore, remain areas for continued attention.”

Rise in maternal mortality rate

During the Q&A segment, Tewarie said one of the main areas of concern was the improvement of the maternal mortality rate.

He said: ”I would like to improve the maternal mortality rate and the birth mortality rate. And we are paying attention to ensuring we have signed an agreement with UNICEF for establishing and solving the problem.

“We are making sure we have the systems in place to have timely data and to manage the institutions. We have asked the Institute of International Relations to set up an observatory, not only here but in the Caribbean. We have signed an agreement with UNDP and to make sure we meet international standards.”

The report said maternal mortality rates increased from a baseline of 46 per 100,000 births live births in 2010 to 58 per 100,000 live births in 2014. On the other hand, the performance of the under-five mortality rate indicator fluctuated slightly throughout the period, ultimately returning to the baseline rate of 14 per 1,000 live births in 2014. To date, the targeted figure of 5 per 1,000 live births is yet to be achieved.

Extracted from the Trinidad Express Newspaper

Published on: Friday 12th June, 2015

Written by: Michelle Loubon

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