Gauteng public healthcare facilities delivered 168 babies on Christmas Day - from midnight until midday - the provincial health department said. Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/ African News Agency (ANA)

Pretoria - Gauteng public healthcare facilities delivered 168 babies on Christmas Day - from midnight until midday - the provincial health department said on Wednesday.

Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku visited newly-born babies and their mothers at Tambo Memorial Hospital in Boksburg and presented them with gifts as part of celebrating Christmas with them.

Academic hospitals delivered 51 babies, with the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital having the lion's share of 26, followed by the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital with 12 deliveries.

Combined, the province's tertiary, regional and district hospitals delivered 106 babies and community health centres welcomed 11 babies.

The Tshwane District Hospital in Pretoria had welcomed two babies by midday.

MEC Masuku congratulated the mothers of newly-born babies and wished them a merry Christmas.

"I wish to commend all our health professionals for their dedication and commitment towards saving lives. Let me also wish all Gauteng residents a merry Christmas and prosperous 2020," he said.

"We must enjoy ourselves during the festive season in a responsible way, don’t drink and drive. Let us be kind and make way for emergency medical services vehicles because they are about saving lives,” Masuku said.

- Africa News Agency (ANA)