n Cardiovascular Journal of Africa - Cardiovascular disease in pregnancy : the South African perspective : editorial

Volume 27 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1995-1892
  • E-ISSN: 1680-0745



Maternal mortality in South Africa, as in many developing nations, is avoidably high. The causes of death are well documented because statutory notification of mortality, happening during pregnancy and for 42 days after delivery, has been in place for 15 years now. The mortality data have been compiled into a triennial report (Saving Mothers) published by the National Department of Health. These reports map the epidemiology of avoidable maternal mortality, for which there are diverse causes, none more significant than the dual failure on the part of attending clinicians to correctly identify potentially life-threatening illness, together with recurrent failure to provide an adequate standard of care to ill pregnant women.

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