A 16-year-old girl is the youngest of mothers who gave birth in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) hospitals on Christmas day.
This according to the province’s health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo, who joined Home Affairs Minister Siyabonga Cwele on Tuesday to welcome the babies born at Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital (PMMH) and RK Khan Hospital in that province.
According to the department, by 09:00 on Tuesday, 24 boys and 21 girls had been born at various healthcare facilities.
However, Dhlomo “bemoaned” the pregnancy of children to mothers in their early teens, saying that society needed to do more to promote abstinence from sex and encourage family planning among young people.
Dhlomo said the department was happy to record that almost all hospitals in the province had Home Affairs offices, which ensured that by the time the mothers left the hospitals, they would have registered the birth of the babies.
“We want to encourage our nursing sisters to keep on reminding mothers that when the day comes for them to deliver, they must please carry along their ID, and that of their husband or boyfriend,” he said.
Cwele thanked KZN Health and the eThekwini Municipality for working together to ensure that the early birth-registration programme was a success.
“We are grateful for the partnership that we have. We use days like these to remind South Africans that for them it is important for their children to be properly registered. The birth certificate will give you access to all services. Whether it’s health, education, social services and other private personal affairs,” Cwele said,
Cwele encouraged fathers to accompany mothers who were due to deliver to offer moral support, while also making it possible to incorporate their details in their children’s birth certificates.
In Limpopo, 60 babies were born across the province. According to posts on the Limpopo Health Department Facebook page, health MEC Phophi Ramathuba, Polokwane Mayor Thembi Nkadimeng and the head of Home Affairs Mr Albert Matsaung visited Seshego hospital and handed out gifts and birth certificates.