From the Editor

Improvements in maternal mortality in South Africa

J Moodley, F Fawcus, R Pattinson

Abstract


South Africa introduced confidential enquiries into maternal deaths in 1997, and the first report was published in 1998. Subsequently, six triennial reports have been published ,and the seventh was being prepared at the time of submission of this manuscript. This paper is focused on data from the last 5 years and documents the reduction in maternal deaths since 2009. The main reason for this decline in maternal deaths has been the success of the antiretroviral treatment programme for HIV-positive women. There has also been a decline in deaths owing to obstetric haemorrhage, but deaths owing to complications of hypertension remain stubbornly high. There has been a continuous reduction in potentially preventable maternal deaths since 2008. However, there is still much to do, and efforts need to concentrate on improving the health system to reduce the deaths owing to haemorrhage and hypertension.


Authors' affiliations

J Moodley, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Clinical Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa; and Chairperson, National Committee for Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths, South Africa

F Fawcus, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa; and Deputy Chairperson, National Committee for Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths, South Africa

R Pattinson, South African Medical Research Council Maternal and Infant Health Care Strategies Unit and Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa; and Editor, National Committee for Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths report, South Africa

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Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2018;108(3a):s4-s8.

Article History

Date submitted: 2018-03-02
Date published: 2018-03-02

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