Province Rolls out Plan to Reduce Child Mortality Rate
BYLINE: MARY-ANNE GONTSANA
THE Western Cape Health Department has rolled out a plan to combat and reduce the mortality rate of children under the age of five.
The Saving Mothers and Children Plan stems from a 2009/2010 report by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) which shows that 7 percent of South African children do not survive their fifth birthday.
With the national figure for deaths before the age of five at 73 per 1 000 live births, the Western Cape figure is 39 and minister of health Theuns Botha has deemed the number "unacceptable".
"The implementation of the five-year plan focuses on saving children by reducing the perinatal mortality rate and the early neonatal death rate. Actions will include vitamin A for babies in their first year, health care workers visiting hospitals and training in neo-natal resuscitation," he said.
The report, The Health of our Children in SA: Results from a National HIV Prevalence Population Survey, said major causes of childhood deaths were diarrhoeal diseases, lower respiratory tract infections and peri-natal (period around childbirth) conditions with HIV/Aids and malnutrition contributing as primary and underlying causes of child mortality. …