Multiple risk factors during pregnancy in SA

The need for a horizontal approach to perinatal care

This research examines how overlapping risk factors like HIV, alcohol use, low birth weight related to poor nutrition, and depressed mood during mothers’ pregnancies jeopardise children’s long-term health and well-being.

The subject focus group is 1,145 pregnant Xhosa women from 24 township neighbourhoods in Cape Town, South Africa.

The paper’s results highlights the importance of intervening across multiple risks to maternal and child health, particularly with depression and alcohol use, in order to positively impact multiple maternal and infant outcomes.

The Philani Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition Project has been addressing child health and nutrition problems in informal settlements around Cape Town since 1979. Ilifa Labantwana supported the evaluation of the study in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. The findings of this research stem from this evaluation.

Written by Mark Tomlinson, Mary J. O’Connor, Ingrid M. le Roux, Jacqueline Stewart, Nokwanele Mbewu, Jessica Harwood and Mary Jane Rotheram-Borus. Published by Springer in 2013.

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