By 9am this morning, at least 45 Christmas babies were born in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, the provincial health department said.
In a statement, the department said 24 boys and 21 were born at government health facilities across the province.
“The first Christmas babies to arrive were born at midnight, at PMMH and at Northdale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg,” the statement said.
“The youngest mother of the Christmas Day babies is aged 16, and gave birth to a baby boy at Queen Nandi Memorial Hospital in Empangeni. Two 17 year-old mothers gave birth to a boy and a girl at PMMH and at St Apollinaris in Harry Gwala District, respectively.”
Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo today lamented the number of teens who gave birth, saying more needed to be done to encourage abstinence and family planning among young people.
“What worries us [is] a significant number of maternal deaths come from teenagers, because at that age you’re simply just not ready to become a mother,” said Dhlomo.
“We are also worried because some of these girls fear coming to hospital early. They hide the pregnancy until it is too late. We really want to encourage teenagers that please, if you have started engaging in sex, you must have precautions to delay the pregnancy by other means. Family planning is one of them.
– African News Agency (ANA)