SA child, maternal deaths decrease

2014-05-05 11:54

Child and maternal deaths in SA have both dropped by more than 6% between 2000 and 2013, according to research by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

It found that child deaths in SA increased by an average rate of 1.4% per year from 1990 to 2000, then fell by 6.1% between 2000 and 2013.

This meant there was an average 2.8% decline per year over the 1990 to 2013 period.

This is according to two studies on child and maternal deaths in 188 countries. The research was conducted by the IHME at the University of Washington as part of its global burden of disease work and was published on May 2 in The Lancet medical journal.

The study showed that child death rates dropped by 48% globally between 1990 and 2013. But 6.3m children still died before their fifth birthday in 2013.

Maternal mortality in SA fell at a rate of 6.9% per year during 2003 to 2013. While important progress was being made, 171.4 mothers per 100 000 live births died from pregnancy- or childbirth-related complications in SA in 2013.

“SA’s progress in reducing maternal mortality is impressive, but too many mothers are still dying,” said Tom Achoki, the IHME’s director of African initiatives.

“We know what works to save mothers’ lives and must continue to do more.”

The study on child mortality showed that maternal education and income growth have had a significant impact in reducing child deaths.

The leading cause of maternal death globally was medical complications in childbirth and the period post-delivery. Approximately 25% of maternal deaths were found to occur during childbirth and the 24 hours following. Another quarter happen during pregnancy, and the remaining deaths up to one year after delivery.

Globally, HIV accounts for less than 1% of maternal deaths, but in southern sub-Saharan Africa the virus causes 6.2% of deaths during pregnancy and childbirth.

For children, the data shows that the earliest days of life are the most dangerous.

In 2013, nearly 42% of global child deaths occurred in infants less than one month old. The 10 countries with the lowest child survival rates were all in sub-Saharan Africa.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.