09 September 2013

Health services for kids in Gauteng improving

Health services for children in Gauteng are steadily improving, the department said on Sunday.


Health services for children in Gauteng are steadily improving, the department said on Sunday.

The transmission of HIV from mothers to their babies had reduced, and incidences of diarrhoea and pneumonia have also dropped, spokesman Simon Zwane said in a statement.

This is according to an annual report for the 2012/2013 financial year which MEC Hope Papo tabled at the Gauteng legislature.

He said 2.4 percent of babies tested HIV-positive (in 2012/2013) when tested at six weeks of age, compared to 3.6% in 2011/12.

"About 96% of babies born to women with HIV received antiretroviral treatment within 72 hours of birth and the department expanded its accredited services for antiretroviral treatment (ART) from 359 to 364 sites during the year."

Zwane said more than 690 000 adults and more than 41 000 children were on treatment by the end of that financial year.

Child survival rates improved

The number of follow-up visits by mothers and their babies after birth were rising. The number had gone up to 85% from 60% in 2011/2012.

Cases of diarrhoea in children aged five and below had dropped by 0.9%. Pneumonia cases dropped by 1%.

No cholera-related deaths were reported.

Zwane said the number of deliveries had increased by 2279 bringing the number to 211 144.

"The department took a number of measures aimed at improving child survival rates," Zwane said.

Five institutions were accredited "Mother and Baby Friendly" which increased the number of facilities equipped to assist mothers with breast-feeding to 48.





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