Health experts declare maternal death from C-section a national emergency

Leading health experts have declared maternal deaths, associated with bleeding during or after caesarean section deliveries, a national emergency.

According to a report compiled by Stellenbosch University, UCT and the National Research Council about 70 percent of maternal deaths could have been avoided.

CapeTalk’s John Maytham spoke Professor Sue Fawcus, Head of Obstetrics at the University of Cape Town

Every year in South Africa there’s about a thousand women who die from child birth and the biggest cause has always been HIV, and we’ve been very encouraged that those have come down

Professor Sue Fawcus, Head of obstetrics at the University of Cape Town

We have been alerted the problem of Caesar bleeding because those have gone up to almost about 221 in three years

Professor Sue Fawcus, Head of obstetrics at the University of Cape Town

She says they are concerned that some of these caesarean section births are done at district hospitals by under skilled staff. Sometimes these procedures are done without adequate medication to contract the womb after the baby has been delivered.

We feel we have to concentrate on district level to improve skills and offer supervision and safety in general in terms of caesarean section

Professor Sue Fawcus, Head of obstetrics at the University of Cape Town

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