Plan to reduce mortality rates
THREE major healthcare organisations have partnered to reduce maternal and child mortality rates in the country.
Netcare Stork's Nest, the SA Breastmilk Reserve (SABR) and SA National Blood Service (SANBS) launched a national campaign to raise awareness about the role of blood and breast milk in saving the lives of mothers and babies.
The campaign coincides with the beginning of Women's Month.
They said a series of open days would be held at Netcare's 37 maternity hospitals, where educational talks about breast feeding, breast milk donation and blood donation would be conducted.
Netcare Stork's Nest national operations manager Sharlene Swart said the report from the national health department showed more maternal deaths in SA between 2008 and 2010 than at any previous time.
Obstetric haemorrhage (profuse bleeding after delivery) remained the most common avoidable cause and one of the top five underlying causes of maternal death.
SANBS brand manager Vanessa Raju said the biggest percentage of blood stock (2%) went to women experiencing obstetric complications.
"Many people think of donated blood as being used mostly for accident victims or those undergoing surgery, forgetting that women who suffer complications during labour require blood too," she said.
She said blood donation was a valuable way of giving back to the community.