New ambulances to exclusively transport pregnant women

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Pretoria – The days of pregnant women delivering their babies at home are soon to be a thing of the past in the North West province, thanks to the procurement of obstetric ambulances to ensure that women deliver at health care facilities.

Tabling the department’s R7.6 billion budget on Tuesday, North West Health MEC Dr Magome Masike said that the provincial department had established maternity waiting homes and also procured 10 obstetric ambulances to exclusively transport pregnant women.

He said that 13 maternity waiting homes had been established and 10 were functional across the province, with seven already established in the largely rural Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati, three in Bojanala, two in Ngaka Modiri Molema and one in Dr Kenneth Kaunda districts.

He said the department will make an effort to increase the number of waiting homes in 2013/14. 

“We are on course to saving mothers and babies at birth.  Maternal mortality rate in South Africa has declined from 176/100 000 live births in 2008 - 2010 triennium to 153.23/100 000 live births in 2011. A significant decrease was realised in the North West from 229.5 to 145.6/100 000 in the same reporting period,” Masike noted.

He said in the 2008 - 2010 reporting period, the North West was among the worst three performing provinces above the National Norm (together with Free State and the Northern Cape), but was now reported among the top three performing provinces, according to the NCCEMD report 2011.

He also pointed out that three more milk banks had been established in Job Shimankane Tabane, Joe Morolong and Mafikeng provincial hospitals, in addition to the one at Potchefstroom hospital.

The Committee on Morbidity and Mortality in Children under 5 years Report (2012) indicates that South Africa’s infant mortality rate decreased from 47.4/1 000 live births in 2007 to 38.1/1 000.

The North West decreased significantly from 77.6/1000 live births to 48.4/1 000. The under-five mortality rate decreased from 62.1/1 000 in 2007 to 50.7/1 000.

Masike applauded Premier Thandi Modise for adopting a Children’s Ward at the Mahikeng Provincial Hospital and establishing a trust for it.

“This is a good example that we can all emulate,” he said. –

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