11 January 2013

South Africa: Sebokeng Hospital Has Seen Steady Decline in Baby Deaths

press release

The Gauteng Department of Health has noted reports about infant mortality at Sebokeng hospital.

While the department acknowledges that the death of even one child is a matter of great concern, however there has been a 25% decline in the number of babies dying at this hospital since 2010.

In 2010 there were 216 death compared to 161 in 2011 and 158 deaths in 2012. This means that there was a 25% decline between 2010 and 2011 and a further 2% decline in 2012.

This decline is attributed to a number of intervention that the department has implemented in the past year to improve the survival rate of young babies.

Basic Antenatal Care training, a World Health Organisation strategy, was conducted in all districts last year to upgrade the skills of nurses. This programme aims to ensure that all women receive focused antenatal care visits. It also emphasises routine care such as nutrition, safe sex and referral of women with high risk pregnancies.

To improve care during labour, training on use of partogram and neonatal resuscitation was conducted for 295 doctors and 1 010 nurses throughout the province.

The department has also established kangaroo mother care units in 23 hospitals. Sebokeng hospital was the first to offer this service. The ratio of postnatal care visits within six days of delivery has improved to 76.1% of women delivered in the province.

Last year, the department applied the integrated management of childhood illnesses at all its clinics and trained 663 professional nurses and 44 doctors in this childhood survival strategy.

The department will continue to implement measures to reduce the number of babies dying in the province. This will include a campaign to encourage mothers to book antenatal visits within 12 weeks of pregnancy, accompaniment of doctors by consultants during wards rounds and the recruitment of suitably qualified doctors and nurses.

Issued by: Gauteng Health

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