Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has outlined his vision for turn-of-the-decade babies under the proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) during a visit to King Dinizulu Hospital’s post-natal ward, in KwaZulu-Natal and assured mothers of the new ease of obtaining their newborns’ birth certificates.
Mkhize was accompanied by KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala, acting provincial Health MEC Kwazi Mshengu and his department’s HOD Sandile Tshabalala.
Mkhize exchanged gifts and presented the beaming mothers with their babies’ birth certificates.
“This will be the norm from here on, where mothers can walk out of hospital with the birth certificate in hand and not have to go to Home Affairs,” he assured them.
One of the mothers looking forward to a brighter future in health care was Khonelaphi Ngamu who gave birth to a healthy boy weighing 3.4 kg.
“I’m very happy today. I have given birth to my baby at 7.30 am and [Mkhize] and [Zikalala] brought my baby’s birth certificate when they visited a few hours later,” Ngcamu said.
King Dinizulu Hospital earned an MEC excellence award for a significant reduction in maternal deaths, an increase in safe caesarean sections, good quality neonatal care, and the commissioning of a specialized Kangaroo Mother Care ward.
“We are starting a new decade in which we will be instituting decisive actions in the implementation of NHI. When it is fully implemented, there will be no distinction between public and private hospitals. We believe that, incrementally, we are going to be seeing changes and improvements in the quality of healthcare,” said Mkhize.
Mkhize also congratulated Zikalala and the provincial department for leading UNAIDS’ 90-90-90 HIV epidemic control targets in South Africa.
Three regions in KwaZulu-Natal – Ugu, uMzinyathi and uMkhanyakude – have all met the targets, with 90% of people living with HIV knowing their status, 90% receiving sustained antiretroviral therapy and 90% of people being virally suppressed.
“Our message to South Africans is to encourage good, healthy living, particularly now when non-communicable diseases are on the rise. Individuals and communities are encouraged to take full responsibility for their health in partnership with the health care system,” said Mkhize.