Monday, November 10, 2014

Pravin Gordhan,
Chair of the Inter-Ministerial Task Team on Service Delivery in South Africa
Private Bag X802,
Pretoria, 0001,
South Africa

Your Excellency,

I am writing to urge you to ensure that better health care is provided for women and girls in Mkhondo Municipality.

Pregnant women and new mothers in Mkhondo Municipality in eastern South Africa are dying needlessly because they are not getting vital health care. Maternal mortality rates have increased by more than double in one rural health district in Mpumalanga, and Mkhondo is in one of the worst-performing health districts in the country. To reduce the risk of dying, pregnant women and girls need medical care from the early stages of pregnancy, but many avoid clinics because they fear the lack of privacy and patient confidentiality. Others are put off by nurses who shout at them for getting pregnant too young.

In addition, many cannot reach the clinics because public transport is scarce or too pricey. Across the district, there is a chronic lack of trained medical staff. Furthermore, a dire shortage of ambulances often leaves pregnant women stranded in emergencies. I therefore urge the authorities to prioritize better health care for women and girls in Mkhondo Municipality.

Yours sincerely,

Md. Hasanuzzaman Talukdar


International Member and Volunteer Facilitator
International Secretariat of Amnesty International 

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