In the last nine months, Sofala recorded around 86,800 births, of which 1,750 were premature. Poor nutrition is identified as the main cause of the phenomenon. The provincial capital of Sofala, the city of Beira, had the highest number of cases, 742 this year compared to 500 last year. The district with the lowest number of cases is Machanga, with five cases this year, compared to eight last year. This high rate of premature births led the executive council of the province of Sofala to dedicate, in its last session, special time to this case. According to the meeting’s spokesperson, Dilma Solange, the main causes of premature births in Sofala are unregulated diet, poor family planning or even the lack of this, as well as poor monitoring in health units.”Malaria and other diseases, caused by sexually transmitted infections, are also potential causes that contribute to the growing number of premature births”, stated Dilma Solange. The first solutions advanced at the aforementioned meeting to stop premature births include the allocation of at least one ultrasound machine to each district. Currently, only one of the 13 districts of Sofala has an ultrasound machine, in this case the city of Beira, “to ensure that prenatal consultations have an increased quality”. So that premature newborns have a greater chance of living, nurseries will be built in all districts. “But the most important thing is to allocate personnel linked to the health sector, preparing them to deal with pregnant women, so that prenatal consultations are of the appropriate quality and prevent premature births”, assured the spokeswoman for Sofala provincial executive council. Source:O País

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