More medical support needed for premature babies: expert

More medical support needed for premature babies: expert

The healthcare system in South Africa does not have the resources to look after all premature babies.  

Hospital, doctor's file, doctor

That's according to the chief specialist in neonatal medicine at Albert Luthuli Hospital, Dr. Harshavadan Mackanjee. 

He says premature babies who are not given the proper attention and care they require often end up dying. 

Harshavadan has been speaking to Newswatch as the world marks World Prematurity Day.

"In South Africa, the prem mortality rate is very high. The healthcare system has not had enough focus or provision to provide for premature babies besides in a few selected areas like Albert Luthuli Hospital," he says. 

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Mackanjee says there needs to be more awareness around premature babies.

"Awareness that premature babies are babies that have a potential of a normal life, awareness that families with premature babies also need to be helped because they have many challenges in raising these babies and awareness that premature babies require ongoing healthcare for a considerable length of time," he says. 

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