Skip to main content


Tuesday 13 May 2014

This Mother’s Day spare a thought for the mothers of the 20 babies that die every day in South Africa on the day they are born. Save the Children’s annual Mother’s Day Report which compares 178 countries around the world in terms of the best and worst places to be a mother based on national child and maternal health, education, political and economic data ranks South Africa 75.

According to Save the Children South Africa’s CEO Ms Gugulethu Ndebele, “South Africa has made progress in reducing child mortality over the 15 year period since the first State of the World’s Mothers Report. This is a big achievement and is due to the roll out of large scale Government interventions such as the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV and the distribution of anti-retroviral drugs. However given South Africa’s poverty and inequality, it is still a very tough place to be a mother for many women”. 

Ms Ndebele is no stranger to the challenges facing children in South Africa as she had a long and distinguished career with the Department of Basic Education before joining Save the Children South Africa. For Ms Ndebele “still too many newborn babies die in our country and we can definitely do more together to stop babies dying”. Save the Children applauds actions by the National Department of Health and partners to change this including the National Peri-natal Mortality and Morbidity Committee’s development of a very important strategy to combat newborn deaths the elements of which are abbreviated by the term HHAPPI-NeSS

Improve the Health System for mothers and babies

Improving the knowledge and skills of Health Care providers in maternal and neonatal care

Reduce deaths due to Asphyxia

Reduce death due to Prematurity

Reduce deaths due to Infection

In support of the Neonatal Survival Strategy

Applying the elements of the HHAPI-NeSS strategy would help ensure that no child in South Africa is born to die.  Ms Ndebele added “We can all play our part in spreading happiness.  Through our EVERY ONE campaign, Save the Children South Africa is working to raise awareness and galvanize action to end preventable child deaths. 

You can help Save the Children South Africa share happiness this Mother’s Day by supporting our campaign or making a donation

Please visit our website for more information. 


The full State of the World’s Mothers report can be read here at

For interviews and further information, please contact: Karen Allan, Save the Children Communications Manager Cell: 074 131 4041 OR Tel:  012 430 776 [email protected]