South Africa has made significant progress recently in reducing child mortality. However, progress in saving lives at the time of birth has been slow and reports contend that in South Africa, the first day of a baby’s life is by far the most dangerous. New research shows that every year in South Africa 7,500 babies who are born alive die on their first day. That’s 21 babies every day – or almost one an hour. It is in this background we have established and positioned CHILD HEALTH NOW as a voice to fight to end preventable deaths of mothers and children in our country.
World Vision calls for the Government of South Africa to:
- Strengthen its focus on the determinants of child and maternal health, including especially exclusive breastfeeding, sanitation, water and hygiene, education and social exclusion.
- Ensure that an adequate number of community health workers are trained, supported and supervised.
- Bear the ultimate responsibility to provide access to healthcare for mothers and children when and where they most need it, as to address the underlying determinants of poor health.
- Ensure greater accountability at all levels for health planning, budgeting and monitoring to ensure that investments in financial and human resources have the greatest impact on child and maternal health