By ANDREW MUKOMA
LIVINGSTONE has recorded a decline in the numbers of mothers attending postnatal care services during this year’s first quarter.
District Nursing Officer, Evelyn Jere, said that the numbers of women attending postnatal care started declining in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, Ms Jere said in Livingstone that the difference in numbers was minimal.
She said that the first quarter 2020 recorded postnatal contacts of 1,383 mothers while the first quarter of 2021 contacts recorded 1,277 mothers.
Ms Jere added that the postnatal follow ups of mothers that came for the second or third time in 2020 recorded 1,197 mothers while 2021 recorded an increase of 1, 346 mothers.
“Postnatal is the care that is given to a mother who has just delivered and it’s given from the time of delivery and goes on up to six weeks.
“During this care, there are number of services that are offered, checking of both the mother and the baby for temperature, blood pressure to see if they are within the normal range,” she explained.
Ms Jere said that postnatal was the most critical period after delivery because there are some complications that can come in in terms such as infections or a mother having a high blood pressure, severe headache and bleeding after delivery.
“So those are some of the dangers, looking at the period that we are now in, there has been a reduction in the numbers of women coming for postnatal in the covid-19 period.
“However, when we look at the year 2020 and 2021 where we are now, we can say that the difference hasn’t been so much in a way that 2020 first quarter and first quarter 2021.
When we add the numbers the difference isn’t so much, it is because of the covid-19,” she said.