South Africa needs an effective maternal and neonatal care system

  • July 15, 2014 | Kim Lamont

Effective neonatal care is part of the solution. Photo courtesy of Vit Hassan

South Africa was one of only a dozen countries worldwide showing increased mortality from 1990 to 2009 for MDGs 4 (child survival) and 5 (maternal health). This is partly due to the high burden of HIV/AIDS morbidity and mortality and in part through increasing emergence of NCDs and mental illness in rural communities, a heavy disease burden on poor urban communities.

Strengthening of primary care services to develop an effective maternal and neonatal care system, especially in district hospitals, where almost 25% to 50% of deaths occur (Mayosi et al., 2012) is an important step to address maternal and infant morbidity and mortality.

Additionally, it would be important to prioritise interventions that are inexpensive, coupled with effective health education, emphasised through the exploitation of awareness strategies to improve dissemination of health information, particularly in resource-restrained countries (Bailey et al., 2002).

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