South African Medical Journal

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Obstetrics in the Transkei

David Simmons


A survey of 1 286 deliveries was conducted at Sir Henry Elliot Hospital, Umtata, over a period of 6 months, from July to December 1970. All the patients were Bantu, mostly from primitive social backgrounds. Incidence of illegitimacy was remarkably high because of the custom of proving fertility before marriage.

Complications during pregnancy and labour such as eclampsia, postpartum haemorrhage, ruptured. uteri, vesicovaginal fistulae and high perinatal mortality, were often a result of poor antenatal care and deficient family planning. Antenatal attendance has to be encouraged if obstetric care is to improve. There is obviously an urgent need for medical services in the Transkei to provide maternity clinics in the outlying districts. There is also the problem of teaching the primitive Bantu modern family care.

AJOL African Journals Online