Better future for mothers, babies
Resource type: News
Compiled by the Government Communication and Information System
Pretoria – A project which combines a wide range of technologies is expected to improve maternal and newborn health.
The Maternal and Newborn Health Technology Initiative (MNTI) focuses mainly on introducing lifesaving technologies, standardising maternal and newborn health practices and improving the accuracy of reporting on specific causes of maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity.
The MNTI, which commenced in 2007, was made possible by a partnership between the KwaZulu-Natal Health Department and PATH – an international non-profit organisation that creates sustainable, culturally relevant solutions, enabling communities worldwide to break longstanding cycles of poor health.
The project, which received funding from the Atlantic Philanthropies has demonstrated that building midwives’ skills and knowledge can improve quality of care and in the long term reduce maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality.
The project has successfully trained 13 midwives and oriented 12 doctors in 13 KZN facilities under iLembe, Sisonke and uMzinyathi Districts.
Dolly Nyasulu from PATH SA explained that much of the work focused on evidence based practices and on empowering perinatal care providers particularly midwives and maternity managers to protect women’s health, ensure safe pregnancy and provide a healthy start for newborns.
KZN Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo said that following this project, a model maternal and newborn health refresher and skills upgrade training programme has been developed. It incorporates the highest standards and evidence-based midwifery best practices and integrates PMTCT care into routine maternal and newborn care.
“We are a country that is faced with a quadruple burden of diseases, among these is the high maternal and child mortality rates and this project is but one intervention that seeks to help us improve our maternal outcomes.
“Our government puts it succinctly when it articulates our commitments to improve health outcomes, during the presentation of the MDG report in September, we said our health is our life and MDGs 3, 4 and 5 are our life,” Dhlomo said.
He noted that South Africa feels the burden of disease with the scourge of HIV and Aids stubbornly reversing gains made in life expectancy, adding that to address this, their priority is to improve the health profile of all South Africans, a commitment they have made to the people of this country and province.
The department will on Friday present awards of excellence to 13 hospitals from Umzinyathi, iLembe and Sisonke Districts, who participated in the MNTI.
The ceremony will be held at Grey’s Hospital. – BuaNews
KwaZulu Natal Development Foundation is an Atlantic grantee.