‘Report illegal abortionists’

2011-04-28 00:00

HEALTH MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo took a swipe at illegal abortion clinics and encouraged communities to report such clinics to the authorities.

He was speaking ahead of his visit to Ulundi tomorrow to open a state-of-the-art community health centre that renders maternity services on a 24-hour basis.

Dhlomo warned of the challenges and dangers posed by unsafe abortions and teenage pregnancies in KZN.

“We are committed to tackle challenges in youth reproductive, maternal and newborn care, especially family planning and also to highlight the problems in maternal and child service provision leading to women dying during pregnancy, at birth or immediately after delivery.

“The vast majority of these deaths are avoidable.”

Dhlomo said access to reproductive and maternal services reduces unplanned pregnancies, maternal and infant mortality as well as the cycle of poverty for women and girls.

The latest statistics from the health department indicate that 1 600 mothers die per 100 000 births in South Africa, either during pregnancy or during birth.

Only 64% of sexually active women use contraceptives.

In KZN 11% of all babies (226 888 in 2009) in public health facilities are born to mothers below the age of 18.

“The United Nations believes that achieving good maternal health requires quality reproductive health services and a series of well-timed interventions to ensure a women’s safe passage to motherhood,” said Dhlomo.

“Failure to provide these results in hundreds of thousands of needless deaths each year, a sad reminder of the low status accorded to women in many societies.”

To highlight the annual International Day of Midwives on May 5, a three-kilometre fun walk will be organised for the community.

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