Gauteng aims to lower maternal deaths after two moms die giving birth
Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku says the cases involved serious complications but maternal deaths had halved in the past year.
JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku said that at least two mothers died while giving birth in the province during the festive season.
Eyewitness News inquired about maternal and infant mortality which were not reported as the country was celebrating babies born on Christmas and New Years’ Day.
Masuku said that the cases involved serious complications but maternal deaths had halved in the past year.
On New Year’s Day alone 10 hospitals in Gauteng performed 85 cesarean deliveries.
Masuku said that South Africa’s cesarean rates were twice the globally accepted average.
“We normally work at around 40% of the pregnancy rates that we have in our facilities, meaning that those are difficult and complicated births, the babies or mothers were in danger - the overall rate accepted internationally is 20%.”
He said that many families went on to celebrate their new arrivals but some lost their loved ones who were giving birth
“There were two that were reported and they have to do with serious complications that also have to do with the response time. Gauteng is one of the better provinces - in the last financial year we were around 134 which came down from 300.”
The UN Sustainable Development Goals aims to reduce maternal mortality to less than 70 deaths for every 100,000 births by 2030.
That means Gauteng still has to halve its current outcomes to reach the target.
Masuku said that the department was working hard to improve maternity services, train more nurses to be midwives to handle complicated births and offer better education for pregnant women.