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Medical News

Report Examines Maternal, Child Health in South Africa

May 17, 2010

A Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) report (.pdf), based on a 2008 household survey, found that 97 percent of women in South Africa use prenatal care services and 95 percent of births occur in a hospital or clinic with a trained medical professional, BusinessDay reports (Kahn, 5/14). According to the findings, HIV/AIDS "accounts for 35 percent of deaths in children under five" and is the largest contributor to maternal deaths, IRIN reports. The study, released on Thursday, also found that health care quality, immunization rates and infant feeding practices contribute to child and maternal health and mortality (5/13).

The HIV prevalence rate in 2008 among children up to 2 years of age was "2.1 percent, lower than the 3.3 percent average in the age group 0 to 4 years," according to BuaNews. Olive Shisana, HSRC CEO, said the improvement is the result of the government's Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) programme. Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi "welcomed the report," and "said South Africa is among 10 countries with a high infant mortality rate, adding that while there are protocols in hospitals to save mothers and children, they were not being followed." He added, "We remain committed to providing high quality antenatal services and are prioritising maternal and child care including monitoring systems that focus on addressing maternal mortality and perinatal deaths," according to BuaNews (5/13).

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This information was reprinted from kff.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery. © Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.



  
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
 
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