More than 400 babies were delivered across South Africa on Christmas Day, the national department of health announced on Monday.
Department of Health’s head of communications Popo Maja paid tribute to the country’s healthcare workers, with special mention for health professionals serving in the public sector.
“We really would like to take the opportunity to thank our health professionals. A special thanks goes to the professionals serving in our public healthcare facilities. You should know that almost 95 percent of babies born in South Africa annually, are delivered in public health facilities,” said Maja.
Annually, the provincial and national health departments provide statistics of “Christmas babies” delivered across the country on December 25.
As at 5.30pm on Christmas day, Maja said the breakdown of babies born per province were as follows:
* Gauteng: 145 babies were born. The sex of the babies is still to be verified. With the national health department confirming 67 girls and 77 boys by 11am.
* KwaZulu-Natal: The latest was at 70, comprising of 38 boys, and 32 girls.
* North West stood at 72 made up of 35 females and 37 males. The first recorded was a girl child delivered at 12.02am at Job Shimankana Tabane Hospital in Rustenburg.
* Limpopo: At least 54 babies born on Christmas Day as per statistics provided at 9am. The babies were 30 boys, and 24 girls.
* Northern Cape had recorded a total of 20 babies across the healthcare facilities, made up of 10 females and 10 males. The first baby was delivered at midnight at Tshwaragano Hospital in Kuruman, weighing 2,5 kilogrammes.
* Eastern Cape recorded 61 babies with 30 boys, and 31 females. A set of twins was delivered before 2am.
Maja said statistics from other provinces were still being awaited, but a final tally of the “Christmas babies” would be provided on Tuesday morning.
On avgerage South Africa has 1.2 million babies delivered in both the public and private sectors with 1 million in the public sector.