Fiji Times Logo

Fiji Time: 10:44 PM on Thursday 17 April

/ Front page / News

Baby boom

Nanise Loanakadavu
Friday, December 07, 2012

CWMH does not have the resources to cope

ABOUT 8000 babies are expected to be delivered at the Colonial War Memorial (CWM) Hospital by the end of this month.

The number of babies delivered at Fiji's largest hospital has continued to increase this year, which has posed a problem to the Ministry of Health, it has emerged.

CWM Hospital's acting consultant obstetrician Doctor Romanu Turaganiwai said from January to the end of last month, 7457 babies were delivered at the hospital.

Dr Turaganiwai said two different months this year recorded the delivery of 900 babies each.

"About 10 to 15 years ago we were delivering five to six thousand babies a year. We thought this was easy to control," he said.

He said this number increased extensively given the limited number of resources available at the hospital.

"The same numbers of bed in wards have not changed for a long time yet the number of delivery keeps increasing every year."

Dr Turaganiwai said this issue should be a worry to the ministry.

He said while the highest number of deliveries were recorded in 2010 with 9000, the ministry noted that Fiji continued to be haunted with baby boom during festive seasons in the past years.

However, for an economist the high number of babies means that the Fiji economy would need to expand to meet the demand.

Prof Mahendra Reddy said while it could not be proven that there would be an increase in poverty because of the increase in number of babies delivered, the onus was on the parents and other stakeholders to provide proper training to these children before they entered the labour market.

"This also means that we will need to ensure that they are provided with proper nutrition," he said.

While there were several factors contributing to the increase in deliveries at CWM Hospital, the ministry revealed that the biggest issue for 2011 was family planning, with unplanned pregnancy being a problem.

The Health Ministry's national advisor on non-communicable diseases Dr Isimeli Tukana said from this figure, it was possible to infer that a lot of young people were sexually active given the age group – between 22 to 26 – of women pregnant this year.