PMTCT – Media Watch
News reports on the consultative meeting on breastfeeding have dominated the news media this week.
It is no secret that poorly staffed and under-staffed clinics are hurting prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV efforts in South Africa. One only has to look as far as last week which saw the release of a damning Human Rights Watch (HRW) report which revealed that HIV-positive mothers-to-be were often subject to appalling treatment in state hospitals.
Confused head-scratching must have been what greeted an article in The New Age
which featured a bizarre and uncontextualised quote from Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on HIV prevention and teen pregnancy.
and the Daily Sun
have reported that pregnant women are being mocked, slapped, pinched and even bribed in South Africa’s public hospitals. To add insult to injury, HIV-positive mothers-to-be are also subjected to treatment which could seriously endanger their lives and their babies’ lives.
Following the International Confederation of Midwives congress last week, media articles have focused on formally trained midwives to the neglect of traditional birth attendants, despite the fact that the latter continue to play an important role in South African society.
The International Confederation of Midwives Congress was held in Durban last week. Consequently The New Age and the Mail & Guardian have both featured articles on midwives.