HIV/Aids transmission from mother to child should not be happening in this day and age: KZN Health MEC
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Durban - The KZN Health MEC has urged pregnant women to seek medical help to eradicate the transmission of HIV/Aids to children during birth and to decrease the number of maternal deaths.
MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu was speaking during #OperationSiyahlola (we are inspecting) visit at the General Justice Gizenga Mpanza Memorial Hospital (formerly Stanger Hospital) on KZN North Coast today.
“Early visits by pregnant women to clinics and hospitals can reduce the rate of maternal and child mortality in the province.
“This ensures that we are able to treat them properly, and if there are any complications, we are able to pick them up early and deal with them at that particular level.
“We have seen in other instances, mothers having to die unnecessarily, purely because of late presentation.”
Simelane-Zulu said they were still babies born with HIV/Aids.
“This is something that should not be happening in this day and age, because we now have proper treatment that prevents mother-to-child transmission.”
KwaZulu-Natal has reduced the rate of mother-to-child transmission of HIV/Aids from 20% in 2008, to 0.6% this year.
During the second quarter of the 2020/21 financial year, 65 mothers died followed by 59 mother in the third quarter.
“We are calling on women to take these matters seriously and come to our facilities early, so that they get the treatment that they need to prevent such occurrences.”
Simelane-Zulu commended the new maternity and neonatal complex at the General Justice Gizenga Mpanza Memorial Hospital, describing it as a “standard that is comparable to those found in the private sector”.
The hospital also boasts a brand-new helipad, a human milk bank as well as a dedicated room for staff who need to express milk for breast-feeding.
Simelane-Zulu expressed gratitude to her counterpart, Public Works MEC Peggy Nkonyeni, for intervening when completion of the complex was beset by delays.
“There is a lot of innovation that has been done here. One thing that got me excited is the fact that they have a milk bank, which is not just for patients, but also for staff who are expressing. That just indicates the caring government that we are.”