The Department of Health urged pregnant women to use its free messaging phone application called MomConnect, to stay informed about listeriosis, Centurion Rekord reports.
On 12 January, the department revealed that a total of 748 laboratory-confirmed listeriosis cases have been reported – an increase of 21 in less than a week.
The department’s spokesperson, Foster Mogale, said the use of the app would help mothers to be well-informed about the symptoms of listeriosis and how to prevent it.
“It gives them specific messages about improving their health and what to do when they are faced with specific problems they might experience during pregnancy.”
“It also gives them useful advice on nutrition and breastfeeding,” he said.
Mogale said mothers would also be able to interact freely with health professionals for advice.
Among people living with HIV/Aids, cancer and diabetes pregnant women are listed as an important high-risk group, as they may transmit the infection to their unborn children.
Mogale said the number of pregnant women infected or killed by the disease was unknown as listeriosis was previously not a notifiable disease.
“Now that it has been classified as notifiable condition, health workers will able to report all cases of listeriosis by completing case investigation forms for patients with listeriosis,” he said.
Mothers can register for MomConnect at their nearest public health facility to receive free SMS services on a healthy and safe pregnancy OR they can dial *134*550# from their cellphones and follow the steps.
Mogale advised pregnant women and other persons at risk to avoid eating soft cheese.