Dr Aaron Motsoaledi: "Maternal deaths simply cannot
In August 2009 the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi,
invited health leaders from all around the country to discuss South
Africa's lack of progress towards the Millennium Development Goals
on maternal and child health.
The findings of three Ministerial Committees on maternal, neonatal
and under-five deaths were presented.
The National Committee on Confidential Enquiries into Maternal
Deaths (NCCEMD)(2005-2007) found that:
- 1,400 mothers die in the neonatal period every year;
- There was a 20.1% increase in maternal deaths in comparison
with the previous report (2002-2004);
- HIV was an underlying cause in 23.1% of all deaths;
- 38.4% of all deaths were clearly avoidable.
The National Perinatal and Neonatal Morbidity and Mortality
Committee 2008, found that:
- 22,000 neonates die each year;
- 43% of these deaths were 'probably' avoidable.
The Committee on Morbidity and Mortality in Children under Five
Years (CoMMiC) found that:
Dr Nonhlanhla Dlamini, National Department of
Health, makes her point.
- 60,000 children die each year;
- Malnutrition was an underlying cause in 60% of these
- HIV was an underlying cause in 50% of these deaths;
- In each death there were, on average, at least two instances of
sub-standard care, either in the home or in health facilities.
All three reports made detailed
recommendations for reducing maternal and child mortality.
Participants then broke into groups to discuss the recommendations
and how to implement them.
Read the full meeting report
Read the presentations made at the
meeting, and other background material