In Practice

Review of the 2015 Guidelines for Maternity Care with relevance to congenital disorders

Helen Louise Malherbe, David L Woods, Colleen Aldous, Arnold L Christianson

Abstract


The 4th edition of the Guidelines for Maternal Care in South Africa published by the National Department of Health in 2015 was evaluated with relevance to the care and prevention of congenital disorders (CDs). Disparate terminology is used for CDs throughout the guidelines, and overall less detail is included on CDs compared with the previous edition. This demonstrates a lack of awareness around the growing health need and contribution of CDs to the disease burden in South Africa (SA). Referrals to medical genetic services in the guidelines for mothers of advanced maternal age and other high-risk categories do not take into account the insufficient capacity available for screening and diagnosis of CDs. This highlights the lack of consultation with the medical genetics sector during the development of the guidelines. To respond to the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, CDs must be integrated comprehensively at all levels of healthcare in SA.


Authors' affiliations

Helen Louise Malherbe, School of Clinical Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

David L Woods, School of Child and Adolescent Health, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Colleen Aldous, School of Clinical Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Arnold L Christianson, Wits Centre for Ethics (WiCE), University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

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Keywords

Congenital disorders; Neonatal mortality; Infant mortality; Child mortality; Epidemiology;

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2016;106(7):669-671. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2016.v106i7.10813

Article History

Date submitted: 2016-03-21
Date published: 2016-06-17

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