The Gugulethu Day Clinic is working to raise awareness about the importance of antenatal care among pregnant women and girls.
This relates to how they are taken care of during pregnancy.
Last Friday, the facility hosted an awareness campaign at the Lotus Park Informal settlement in Gugulethu. The purpose of the campaign was to promote and encourage women to visit health facilities as soon as they miss their period or suspect they may be pregnant.
This can help to prevent complications in their pregnancy and limit the escalating childbirth mortality rate.
Clinic staff urged women to attend antenatal clinics to monitor their health and that of the baby.
The clinic partnered with the University of Cape Town School of Public Health and other stakeholders, to host the outreach initiative.
Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo who was also there, said antenatal care was advocated as the cornerstone for reducing children’s deaths and improving maternal health.
“Services will be brought closer to people now. Remember we have a problem of stillborn (babies). We want to urge women not to wait until the stomach shows that you are pregnant to come to the health facility. You know your body, so (as soon as) your cycle skips, you must go to the clinic for tests,” she said.
“Getting early and regular prenatal care can help you have a healthy pregnancy and a full-term baby. Prenatal care is important during pregnancy to monitor health and the health of the baby,” she appealed.
Antenatal care is sometimes also referred to as prenatal care.
Health promoter at the facility Ntembeko Napakade added: “We always encourage them to come early to us, especially the pregnant ones so that we can pick any problem early. It is always good and helpful to know where one stands during pregnancy. So we’ll continue to go around and encourage women to go to the clinic.”
UCT School of Public Health representative Nobuntu Habe said their department did research for the facility on many women’s health issues including baby mortality and others and that they were encouraged by the attendance at the event.
At the event residents could also undergo health screenings, including HIV testing, family planning, immunisations (child health) and women’s health education.