Gauteng wins the battle against childhood illnesses
31 Oct 2012
The Gauteng Department of Health has made strides in managing childhood illness and making Gauteng a province fit for children.
Three out of every four new mothers are visited at home within six days of delivery and 98.4 % of babies born to women with HIV received the nevirapine within 72 hours of birth.
As a result of these efforts only 3.6% of babies born to HIV-positive mothers tested positive when tested at the age of six weeks. This is below the target of 5% set by the national department of health.
The figures have been released to showcase progress that has been made in improving the health of children ahead of national children's day on November 3.
According to the department, 60% of Gauteng health facilities are accredited as 'Mother and Baby Friendly' and the number of clinics recognized as youth friendly have been increased from 125 in 2010/11 to 177 in 2011/12 financial year.
Nearly all clinics (98%) are implementing the integrated management of childhood illnesses programme and 9 in 10 children are immunised against vaccine preventable illnesses.
The number of pregnant women who visit their clinics before 20 weeks of gestation has improved from 25% to 34.7%. However the department would like to reiterate its call to mothers to visit their clinics early in the pregnancy so as to prevent complications during birth and ensure that children grow optimally.
HIV positive mothers are also urged to return to clinics at 18 months of age for re-testing. Many mothers do not take their children to the clinic at this age as they believe that they only have to take their children to the clinic when they are sick.
The reduction of maternal mortality rate 167.7 per 100 000 live births in 2007 to 145 per 100 000 in 2010, also bodes well for children. This means more children are growing up with their mothers instead of in the care of relatives or as orphans.
The number of mothers dying due to hypertension related factors has decreased from 21.1% to 15.1% of all maternal deaths, those dying from anaesthetic-related factors have come down from 2.6% to 1.6% and unsafe abortion have claimed the lives of 18.6% of mothers down from 21.7% in 2010/11 financial year.
Cell: 082 551 9892
Issued by: Gauteng Health
31 Oct 2012
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