Thirty-eight New Year’s babies born in KwaZulu-Natal

2011-01-03 00:00

IT was a quiet New Year’s Day for local labour wards on Saturday, with only 15 births reported in the capital.

Keran Teresa Marion was the first child to be born in Pietermaritzburg, just 20 minutes into the new year at St Anne’s Hospital.

Following her was Luyanda Shezi, born at Edendale Hospital at 1.45 am.

Northdale Hospital saw five births on Saturday and Grey’s welcomed three into the world — a girl and two boys. The last baby was born a minute before 11 pm.

Edendale had five births (three boys and two girls) and MediClinic staff delivered one baby in the afternoon.

Between midnight and 6 am of the new year, 38 babies were born in KwaZulu-Natal. The first baby in the province arrived a minute past midnight at Osindisweni Hospital in Verulam.

The MEC for Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, visited GJ Crookes Hospital south of Durban to congratulate the New Year mothers and to give them gifts on behalf of the department.

“A new baby is like the beginning of all things — wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities,” he said.

“To become a mother is one of life’s greatest blessings. It is a lifelong event that forever changes you. Becoming a mother changes your heart, your thoughts, and your actions.”

During his visit, the MEC was faced with the issue of teenage pregnancy after a 14-year-old mother gave birth to a girl at 2.30 am.

The MEC said pregnancy rates among 15-to-19-year-olds must be reduced significantly in the next few years and advised mothers younger than 18 to inform their peers of the difficulties of teenage pregnancy and delivery.

He said the reasons for trying to curb teenage pregnancies were that they increase the risk of HIV infection and that pregnancy at a very young age can result in fatal complications for the young mother and/or her baby. It also increases the risk of infant morbidity, as well as the possibility of emotional and financial strain for the mother.

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