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New ‘pregnancy grant’ would reduce SA’s maternal mortality rate

Extending the child support grant to pregnant mothers could help reduce SA’s ‘astonishingly high’ maternal mortality rate. [s]The Times[/s] reports that this is according to research by [b]Wits University health economist Prof Alex van den Heever[/b], who said that Chile, which has an economy of about the same size as SA, has 24 maternal deaths per 100,000 women. However, in SA between 300 and 400 women per 100,000 die from pregnancy-related causes. Speaking at the [b]Wits Centre for Health Policy's[/b] summit on maternal death, Van Den Heever said one of the biggest causes of this sky-high maternal mortality rate is that many women present themselves for antenatal care too late in their pregnancy. He warned that transport costs and the loss of pay for leaving work for a day discouraged women from seeking medical treatment. The research, commissioned by the [b]Department of Social Development[/b] is to be presented to the [b]Treasury[/b].

[link url=http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2014/03/17/new-pregnancy-grant]Full report in The Times[/link]

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