New moms to receive better care

2010-05-14 00:00

NEW mothers and mothers-to-be are to receive better care in to reduce deaths among them and their babies in KwaZulu-Natal, the province with the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in South Africa.

The Health MEC, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, yesterday recommended that:

• Transport to hospitals for pregnant women close to term or alternative accommodation must be arranged.

• Women who have delivered their babies and been discharged must be seen daily by a community health worker for the first six days.

The MEC and maternal and child health experts were addressing the media on the outcomes of an indaba last month at which it was disclosed that there has been a 20% rise in maternal deaths nationally.

Non-pregnancy-related infection, hypertension complications, ­haemo­rrhage, pregnancy-related sepsis and pre-existing maternal disease are the top causes.

Children under the age of five mostly die due to perinatal conditions, with HIV and malnutrition contributing as both primary and underlying causes.

Dhlomo said maternal and infant mortality are not just issues of development, but also of human rights, adding, “The right to health should lie at the heart of the human rights response to mortality.” 

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