Christmas Day babies.

Mother Jessie Mkandawiae with baby Mkandawiae the first baby born at midnight on Christmas morning.

The Western Cape Government Health has announced the birth of 85 babies at public health facilities in the Cape Metro on Christmas Day. This total is subject to change as more births are reported.

Of these babies, 43 are boys and 42 are girls.

The first three Christmas babies were born in close succession. The first entered the world on the stroke of midnight, a girl, at Mowbray Maternity Hospital, weighing 2,6 kg and 48.5 cm in length to mother Jessie Mkandawiae.

The second baby, another girl, was born at 00.22 at Delft Community Health Clinic’s maternity and obstetrics unit to mother Edwina Dolpha.

Mother Edwina Dolpha with her baby girl born at Delft Community Health Clinic’s, the second baby born in the Cape Metro.

The third baby, a boy, was born at Tygerberg Hospital to mother Wendolene Swarts, at 00.31, weighing 3.19 kg.

Mother Wendolene Swarts with her baby boy, who was the third baby born at Tygerberg Hospital on Christmas Day.

Two sets of twins were reported at Mowbray Maternity Hospital, a boy and a girl born at 10.20am and 10.50am respectively to mother Patience Musonza.

Mother Patience Musonza with the first set of twins, a boy and a girl, born at Mowbray Maternity Hospital

Health MEC Dr Nomafrench Mbombo congratulations all new parents on the birth of their babies on this special day. She emphasises the importance of the first 1 000 days of a child’s life. The Western Cape Government Health believes that from conception, the first thousand days of a child’s life is critical for a baby’s physical, social, and brain development that takes place during this time.

“Provide your baby with a safe environment and good nutrition. Make sure their immunisations are up to date and that you play an active role in their development by talking to them, playing with them, and supporting them to reach their milestones,” said Dr Mbombo.

Meanwhile, public hospitals in the Western Cape are currently under severe pressure due to a sharp increase in Covid-19 admissions and the increase in non-Covid-19 trauma cases, such as alcohol-related injuries and road accidents.

Patients not requiring life-saving intervention will have a longer waiting time if visiting the hospital emergency centre and are thus advised to visit their local clinic.

Patients are encouraged to make an appointment before visiting the clinic, by calling their local clinic. Patients in the Cape Metro can also access the Pocket Clinic telehealth service from their cellphone (WhatsApp) by sending “Hi” to 087 240 6122. Use Pocket Clinic to update your contact details, query your chronic medication delivery, and to confirm an existing appointment before going to the clinic.

Coronavirus spreads where people gather, including at public health facilities. Only visit the clinic or hospital emergency centre when you really have to. Always wear a clean cloth mask over your mouth and nose, and keep a distance of 1.5 m from other people.