South Africa’s high rate of stillbirths is linked to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi told a Parliamentary briefing this week.
Plus 70 000 babies are being born HIV positive, despite efforts to prioritise the prevention-mother-to-child programme.
The PMTCT “A-plan” (Accelerated Plan) launched in 2009 to rapidly reduce the number of babies born HIV positive – targeting the worst hit districts – has made an impact but South Africa is still failing its infants.
Motsoaledi is right that primary health care is where patient care starts and South Africa needs to overhaul its system to tackle these problems.
But unless the staffing and resourcing of clinics improves in South Africa, patients will keep streaming to hospitals for treatment even when inappropriate.
The minister promised to appoint four people in every district in the next six months to manage primary health care, maternal mortality and infant mortality.