Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
25 Dec 2021
2:02 pm

Health MEC concerned over teen pregnancies as KZN welcomes 59 Christmas babies

Citizen Reporter

The first Christmas baby was a boy, born at King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban.

KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Health, Nomagugu Simelane at Addington Hospital, Durban to welcome Christmas babies. Picture: Twitter / @kznhealth

Public healthcare facilities in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) saw the delivery of 59 babies on Christmas Day.

KZN saw 35 boys and 24 girls born on Saturday as of 12pm.

The province’s health MEC, Nomagugu Simelane said the first Christmas baby was a boy, born at King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban.

The baby boy was born to a 39 year-old mother.

“He arrived on the stroke of midnight, weighing in at 2.82kg,” the MEC said.

ALSO READ: South Africa’s other pandemic: Teen pregnancy

Simelane also indicated that five mothers were aged 18 or younger, further expressing her concern over the teenage mothers.

“We are nevertheless concerned that the youngest among these mothers are two 16 year-olds, who gave birth at Nkonjeni and Itshelejuba Hospitals, both in Zululand district.

“We also have a 17 year-old and two 18 year-olds, who delivered at Itshelejuba, Benedictine (again in Zululand District) and Osindisweni Hospital, here in eThekwini.

“When you look at these cases, what becomes glaring is that these girls had sex when they were about a year younger than they are, which means girls aged 15, 16, and 17 years old were engaging in sexual intercourse,” she said.

“We want to re-iterate that this is unacceptable, because conceiving at such a young age can be very, very dangerous for both mother and child.

“A mother who is too young is not psychologically and physiologically ready to bear a child; and is at an increased risk of suffering health complications, and possibly losing her life and that of the baby.

“But we also want to be clear that older men who impregnate these young girls must be arrested and made to face the full might of the law, because what they are doing is statutory rape. They are taking advantage of girls who are economically vulnerable,” the MEC continued to say.

READ MORE: Teen pregnancy: Here’s how DBE’s new policy hopes to protect girls

In North West, at least 43 babies including a set of twins – a boy and a girl – were delivered across the province, OFM reported.

The twins were born in the Bojanala district, which had the most newborn babies on Christmas Day.

According to the provincial health department spokesperson, Tebogo Lekgethwane, Bojanala saw a total of nine girls and five boys followed by the Dr Kenneth Kaunda district municipality with 11 newborn babies.

Gauteng also saw some babies born on Christmas, but the number of the babies remains unclear.