Every Death Counts: Saving the lives of mothers, babies and children in South Africa

Three South African mortality audit reports, Saving Mothers, Saving Babies and Saving Children, offer a review of the healthcare provided to mothers, babies and children. These reports synthesise audit information to help guide priority setting for the National Department of Health and all levels of health service delivery. In Every Death Counts, the authors of these three reports have come together to present a set of unified recommendations with specific actions for government officials and policymakers, health managers and healthcare providers to save lives.

Each day in South Africa at least 260 mothers, babies and children die. This toll is related to 5 major challenges: pregnancy and childbirth complications, newborn illness, childhood illness, HIV & AIDS and malnutrition. More than half of these lives could be saved with full coverage of basic packages already existing in the South African healthcare system. Everyone has a role to play in ensuring the best care for South Africa's future.

Download Every Death Counts (link to PDF 1MB)
Download Data Supplement for Every Death Counts (PDF 358 KB)
Download the Press Release(PDF 124KB) 
Download Lancet South Africa Every Death Counts (PDF 1,014KB)
For more information:
The Savings reports
Helpful resources and links

THE Savings REPORTS
Every Death Counts: Saving the lives of mothers, babies and children in South Africa

Includes: Maternal, neonatal and child deaths, plus stillbirths
Inputs: The three national audit reports, with additional national data on tracking for progress and recommendations that are cross cutting,
Coordination: Compiled by the teams that lead the three audit reports, with the National Dept of Health, MRC Unit for Maternal and Infant Healthcare Strategies, MRC Burden of Disease and MRC Health Systems internal units and Save the Children
Report: Click to download PDF
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Saving Mothers: Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths (NCCEMD)

Includes: Maternal deaths
Inputs: Aims to capture all maternal deaths
Numbers: 1,173 maternal deaths reported in 2004 (3,406 maternal deaths for 2002-2004)
Frequency: One report for year 1998, and thereafter triennially
Coordination: Reported to the National Committee on Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths
Report: Click to download PDF summary
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Saving Babies: Perinatal Problem Identification Programme (PPIP)

Includes: Stillbirths and pre-discharge early neonatal deaths
Inputs: 164 facilities reported information on 576,065 births 2003-2005
Numbers: 4,067 stillbirths and 2,887 early neonatal deaths audited, annual average 2003-2005
Frequency: Annually 2000-2002, biennial since 2003
Coordination: Compiled by the audit users, MRC Unit for Maternal and Infant Healthcare Strategies, with the National Dept of Health
Report: Click to download PDF

Saving Children: Child Healthcare Problem Identification Programme (Child PIP)

Includes: Infants and children (birth to 18 yrs), admitted to paediatric wards
Inputs: 28 facilities across South Africa provided information on 58,341 admissions
Numbers: 4,228 audited deaths from January 2005 - January 2008
Frequency: Annually since 2004
Coordination: Compiled by the audit users, MRC Unit for Maternal and Infant Healthcare Strategies, with the National Dept of Health
Report: Click to download PDF

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HELPFUL RESOURCES AND LINKS

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Child Healthcare Problem Identification Programme
Perinatal Problem Identification Programme
National Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths
South African National Burden of Disease Study 2000, Medical Research Council
District Health Barometer 2005/2006, Health Systems Trust
HIV & AIDS and STI National Strategic Plan 2007-2011
Opportunities for Africa's Newborns, Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
State of the World's Children 2008, UNICEF


Links for partners involved in Every Death Counts
National Department of Health
Medical Research Council
Saving Newborn Lives, Save the Children US
UNICEF South Africa

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