Monday, March 10, 2008

Poor Health in South Africa

The deaths of up to 40,200 South African babies and children could be prevented every single year if gaps in the healthcare system, including poor patient care and lack of interventions to address HIV/AIDS, were addressed. Every year at least 20,000 babies are stillborn, another 22,000 die within the first month of their lives and 1,600 mothers die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Some 75,000 children die before their fifth birthday, according to a report.

"We are talking about a lot of deaths. Under five mortality appears to be increasing. Maternal mortality appears to be increasing. HIV infection amongst pregnant women appears to be increasing," says Dr Mark Patrick, a paediatrician at Grey's Hospital in Pietermaritzburg and one of the report's authors."The fact that 260 mothers, babies and children die every day in South Africa should make people stop and think and ask why this is happening."

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