Researcher Suggests Depression Killing New Mothers
News: The maternal mortality due to depression in South Africa is on the rise despite the government's commitment to the Millennium Development Goal aimed at reducing deaths in the region, according to research Ingrid Meintjes, the head of the Perinatal Mental Health Project at the University of Cape Town. Depression and mental stress were experienced by 39% and 47% of South African women in the areas of Khayelitsha and Hlabisa respectively. The situation was found to be more alarming in the poor suburban area of Hanover Park, where more than half of new mothers had maternal depression and more than a third of those enrolled in a maternal mental health project were suicidal. Meintjes opined that integrated maternal mental health services could alleviate such mental disorders.
BMI View: BMI 's Burden of Disease Database (BoDD) estimates that the number of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost to depression in South Africa was 368,533 in 2010. We forecast this will increase by 9% to 400,327 DALYs by 2015 and by a further 25% to 502,358 DALYs by 2030.