KZN's words of caution as province welcomes more than 70 Christmas babies
KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo's Christmas visit to Durban's King Edward VIII Hospital was one of celebration‚ mixed with caution.
Between midnight and 3pm on Christmas Day‚ the province welcomed 70 babies – 38 boys and 32 girls. And while Dhlomo celebrated with the new moms in the wards - including handing out gift packs that included clothing‚ nappies and blankets - he was alarmed that three of the moms were just 16 years old.
“We are always concerned when young people fall pregnant because it is very unsafe. If you’re a young person under the age of 18‚ and you’re delivering a big baby‚ which does happen‚ chances of delivering safely are slim. It actually places the mother’s own life and the baby’s in danger‚" he said.
Dhlomo was also concerned that at least one of the moms had not attended an antenatal class before giving birth.
“That is not a good story to tell because in this province we want to make sure that mothers deliver healthy babies. [Not attending antenatal clinics] makes the delivery very risky. Antenatal clinics should be a non-negotiable‚ because when we know your condition as a mother‚ when we detect any challenges early‚ even if you are HIV positive we can guarantee your safety and that of your baby‚” said Dhlomo.
As a final message‚ Dhlomo called on the province's citizens to use the Christmas spirit of giving to donate blood.
“I have been in contact with the South African National Blood Service‚ and they are saying that they have enough blood stocks to last two and a half days. We therefore wish to call on all South Africans‚ even if you are here on holiday‚ to make sure you donate a pint of blood. With so many people visiting our province‚ incidents may happen where people may end up needing blood. So‚ the blood that you donate could actually save lives. And that is the most precious contribution that you can make‚" he said.
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