The maternal and child mortality rate in KwaZulu-Natal is cause for concern, health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo said on Tuesday.
The province had put in place measures to reduce the death of women as a result of pregnancy, he said. These included 38 specialised obstetric ambulances and the deployment of district clinical specialist teams consisting of an obstetrician, paediatrician, anaesthetist, advanced midwife and paediatric nurse.
Dhlomo said women had to be encouraged to visit health institutions at the early stage of pregnancy for comprehensive health screening.
He said the number of deaths of babies had declined in the past five years, from 40 in 2009 to 30 in 2011, but teenage pregnancy was on the rise.
Dhlomo is expected to welcome the province's new year babies at the Lower Umfolozi Memorial Hospital, in northern KwaZulu-Natal, on Wednesday. – Sapa