‘Early an­te­na­tal care es­sen­tial for good health’

The New Age (Free State) - - NORTH WEST NEWS - ELFAS TORERAI elfast@the­newage.co.za

WOMEN in the North West are en­cour­aged to book for an­te­na­tal care at health fa­cil­i­ties as soon as they know they are preg­nant.

An­te­na­tal care at an early stage of preg­nancy is im­por­tant for the health of the mother and the de­vel­op­ing child.

The health depart­ment said it urges all preg­nant women to book for an­te­na­tal care at their near­est health fa­cil­ity as soon as preg­nancy is con­firmed, ide­ally dur­ing the first trimester.

“Early an­te­na­tal care gives preg­nant women the op­por­tu­nity to treat ex­ist­ing med­i­cal con­di­tions that can be ag­gra­vated dur­ing preg­nancy like di­a­betes, hyper­ten­sion, anaemia and in­fec­tions.

“An­te­na­tal care makes it eas­ier for health of­fi­cials to de­tect dan­ger signs in preg­nancy and post-de­liv­ery and prepa­ra­tion for birth and readi­ness for com­pli­ca­tions,” the depart­ment said.

The depart­ment is using this week up to Fri­day as its preg­nancy aware­ness week.

“The week is used to strengthen ed­u­ca­tion and stresses im­por­tant is­sues which pro­mote a healthy preg­nancy and safe mother­hood.

“The pri­mary pur­pose is to re­duce the num­ber of deaths or com­pli­ca­tions from preg­nancy,” depart­ment spokesper­son Te­bogo Lekgeth­wane said.

The cam­paign tar­gets teenagers and young mothers who need more in­for­ma­tion on is­sues around preg­nancy.

It is be­ing rolled out in all dis­tricts and com­mu­nity mem­bers and school chil­dren are also tar­geted.

The depart­ment be­lieves that once there is proper man­age­ment of preg­nan­cies from an early age, chances are that ma­ter­nal mor­tal­ity will be sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced.

It is one of the depart­ment’s goals to sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce the risk of com­pli­ca­tions at birth to en­sure healthy mothers and ba­bies.

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