Perinatal health in the peri-urban township of Khayelitsha, Cape Town. Part I. Mothers and their newborn infants.S Afr Med J. 1988 Dec 17; 74(12):629-32.SA
The satellite 'city' of Khayelitsha lies some 40 km south-east of the centre of metropolitan Cape Town. The first phase of the development, Town 1, including a large 'squatter' area, accommodates approximately 150,000 people at present. It is envisaged that ultimately the entire 3,200 ha site will house between 250,000 and 350,000 people. In order to obtain useful planning information for future community obstetric and neonatal health care services, a survey of all births within the Peninsula Maternal and Neonatal Service (PMNS) during 1986 was undertaken. Of a total of 2,113 mothers from Khayelitsha, 2,000 (94.7%) gave birth to a live singleton infant. The mean maternal age was 26.2 years, 15.1% of mothers being under 20 years of age. The mean parity was 3.03, and 18.3% of mothers were having their first baby. Only 3.1% of mothers booked early (in the first trimester); however, 91.9% were booked before delivery. The average number of prenatal visits was 3. The largest proportion of mothers (43.1%) delivered at the Heideveld midwife obstetric unit (MOU). There was an overall pre-term rate of 7.6%, while 8.8% of infants were of low birth weight (LBW) (less than 2,500 g). In addition, 51.4% of the LBW infants were born at term. The mean birth weight was 3,160 g. The largest proportion of mothers (53.6%) were residents of the 'squatter' area. No statistically significant differences in obstetric features, maternal characteristics and pregnancy outcome were discernible between the squatter, site-and-service, and core housing areas of Khayelitsha, with the exception of higher maternal weight, earlier booking and more antenatal visits in the group from the core housing area.