KZN welcomes 65 New Year’s Day babies

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Jan 1, 2022

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KWAZULU-NATAL welcomed 65 babies on New Year's Day.

The provincial Department of Health said 36 girls and 29 boys were welcomed into the world on January 1.

KZN's first New Year’s baby was born at Mosvold Hospital in the Umkhanyakude District shortly after midnight.

KZN Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane said: "Interestingly, we have a set of twin girls who were born at Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital, to a 25-year-old mother, Ziyanda Madikizela. The first twin arrived at 3am, weighing in at 2.05kg; followed by the second one, two minutes later, who weighed 2.36kg.

“Here at Port Shepstone Hospital we’ve had one New Year’s baby, a girl who was born to a 40-year-old mother from Makhoso area of uMthwalume, weighing in at 2.59kg. Both mother and baby have some health challenges, and are under close medical supervision.”

Simelane also addressed the issue of teen pregnancies after five mothers aged 18 and under gave birth.

“Once again, we have to register our concern that among these mothers is a 15-year-old, two 16-year-olds, a 17-year-old, and an 18-year-old. In the case of the 15-year-old girl, the father is 18 years old. You then begin to realise that the mother was just 14 years old when she conceived, while the boy was 17.

“So, these are just children, who are nowhere near ready for the responsibilities that come with bringing a child into the world," she said.

"We therefore can never over-emphasise the risks that our girls are exposed to when they fall pregnant. Not only are they in danger of potentially fatal pregnancy-related ailments, but their prospects of fulfilling their potential as human beings are vastly diminished. We once again call upon parents, guardians, educators and community leaders to have open and frank conversations with their children about the benefits of abstinence and responsible sexual behaviour.“

The MEC reiterated the call for society to expose and help bring to book any man who impregnates a girl aged 16 and younger, because that would constitute statutory rape.

“We also urge law enforcement authorities to adopt a zero-tolerance stance against this scourge that continues to bedevil our society,” Simelane said.

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