n South African Journal of Child Health - Saving South Africa's mothers, newborns and children - can the health system deliver? : hot topics




In summary, almost 50 000 newborn and child lives could be saved in the year 2015 if South Africa reached high, effective coverage, especially of PMTCT and newborn care. This would put South Africa right on target for MDG 4 (Fig. 1), and also contribute significantly to progress for maternal health (MDG 5). However, to save these lives in the real world of the South African health system, the challenge is to ensure not only high coverage for all but also higher-quality coverage. Too often the high-impact interventions are being performed sub-optimally. For example, even though more than 90% of women complete at least one antenatal visit a recent assessment showed that only about 11% received the full set of interventions required.


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