n South African Journal of Child Health - Perinatal statistics - some good news : editorial

Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1994-3032
  • E-ISSN: 1999-7671



Perinatal and maternal health statistics are used extensively as markers for the effectiveness of health service provision in a country. Because of their importance in this role, several of the rates were incorporated into the Millennium Development Goals (particularly Goals 4 and 5). In Minister Trevor Manuel's forward to the Millennium Development Goals, Country Report 2013 compiled by Statistics South Africa (SA), he highlighted the lack of consensus on the actual levels of maternal mortality because of different data sources and methodology; however, he acknowledged that SA was lagging behind that particular target. The official 2010 figure was 269/100 000 live births, which is seven-fold greater than the 2015 goal of 38/100 000 live births. The report indicated that SA was unlikely to achieve its 2015 target for maternal deaths, but was likely to achieve the target of 100% of births being attended by skilled health personnel by 2015. According to Statistics SA, our infant mortality rate was 38/1 000 live births in 2010, with the 2015 target being 18/1 000 live births. Approximately 40% of our <5-year-old mortality is made up of neonatal deaths, therefore if SA is going to effectively reduce <5 mortality, it will have to substantially reduce its neonatal mortality rate.

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