MEDIA STATEMENT

To: Editors & Health Journalists

Issued by: Department of Health

Date: Monday, 02 January 2023

Department welcomes New Year Day`s Babies

Pretoria: The Department of Health has recorded 1803 babies delivered from public health facilities throughout the country on the New Year`s Day, and this translates into 22% increase from Christmas babies.

Parents and caregivers are urged to consider exclusive breastfeeding and ensure their babies are fully immunized to strengthen their immune system to fight childhood diseases like polio and measles.

The Department is concerned with the high rate of teen mothers and this requires all hands on deck from government, families and other community structures to reduce school dropout which hinders formal education for many adolescent girls and young women, making them vulnerable to poverty.

Over 100 teenagers from the age 13 years are amongst mothers who have delivered their babies on Christmas and New Year`s during this festive period.

Teen pregnancy and early motherhood contribute to interruption of formal education, if not definite dropout by adolescent girls as some of them struggle to strike a balance between parenting and education due to lack of supporting family structures.

For more information and media enquiries, please contact:

Mr Foster Mohale
Health Departmental Spokesperson
0724323792
Foster.mohale@health.gov.za

Mr Doctor Tshwale
Spokesperson for Health Minister
063 657 8487
Doctor.Tshwale@health.gov.za