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Health Dept vows to continue improving neonatal care

Negligent staff & bad quality healthcare have been blamed for over 80,000 newborn deaths in two years.

FILE. The Medical Research Council has said many newborn deaths would have been prevented if medical staff followed the rules. Picture: Stock.XCHNG

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Health at the weekend said it would continue its drive to improve neonatal care in public hospitals across the country.

It said training initiatives it's implemented have resulted in a 35 percent reduction in the amount of neonatal deaths.

Department spokesperson Joe Maila said if there's any record of negligence or poor quality healthcare, it will be dealt with.

"We are doing everything that we can to make sure that our babies do not die. We'll make sure that we improve on whatever we're doing in order to ensure that we save our babies."

The Medical Research Council previously said negligent staff and bad quality healthcare contributed to more than 80, 000 newborn deaths in two years.

The council found that many of the deaths could have been prevented if medical staff followed the rules.