Leading newborn health experts and government officials are convening this week to address newborn mortality and galvanize the global community to action.
South Africa is praised for its fast progress in increasing post-natal survival rates due to HIV programmes, but Lawn warned that this hid the fact that the country’s newborn death rate was “flatlining."
The Global Newborn Action Plan (GNAP) comes as countries make their final push towards the Millennium Development Goals. GNAP is defined as a high-level roadmap that focuses specifically on newborn health.
Another approach, Museveni suggested, should be sensitisation. "This is very crucial to educate expectant mothers to attend ante-natal clinics in order to ensure safe delivery.
According to figures from the Medical Research Council the transmission rate from mother to child decreased in South Africa from 8% in 2008 to 2.7% last year.
Mothers, babies and newly diagnosed HIV patients are receiving more of the services they need but progress comes at a cost, according to a new report that predicts a funding shortfall for HIV treatment in South Africa.
The South African government has rethought its policy on infant feeding and move to discontinue the free provision of formula milk at hospitals and clinics, and promote an exclusive breastfeeding strategy for all mothers, including those living with HIV.
Neonatal care does not receive enough attention from the health sector, despite ongoing media coverage of infant mortality cases.
About 82000 children under the age of five died while in the care of nurses and doctors in public hospitals in the past three years. This shocking figure was revealed by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi in Parliament this week.
The provincial health department has released statistics that show a marked improvement in reducing the number of mothers and infants who die during childbirth.