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In front is Mabatho Sihlangu with her son, Ivan, who was born on Christmas Day at Netcare Pholoso Hospital. Sharing in her happiness are maternity ward personnel, Maria Rasakanya, Sophia Kgomosetho and Lebo Ramokgopa.

New lives welcomed at Xmas, New Year

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Christmas Day, 25 December saw 173 babies born across the province, with 272 babies being born on New Year’s Day, according to the Limpopo Department of Health.
Department spokesperson, Derek Kganyago said on Christmas Day 139 boys and 133 girls were born in hospitals across the province. On New Year’s Day, 116 boys and 108 girls were born.
“Surprisingly no twins, triplets or quadruplets were born on these days this time around,” Kganyago said.
He further said during a visit to some of the new parents, Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba expressed concern that several of the new mothers are still teenagers. “The MEC will be addressing this matter in the months to come,” Kganyago added.
Mabatho Sihlangu (25) said she feels blessed that her son, Ivan was born on Christmas Day. Ivan weighed 3,120 kg and was born at Netcare Pholoso Hospital.
Mother for the fourth time, Dimakatso Maruma-Machaba (31) said her son, born at Mediclinic Limpopo also on Christmas Day – weighing 3,120 kg – had not yet been named as she wanted to be sure he was given the perfect name for such a special baby.
Both Koena Mpherwane and Tsakani Mathebula, who declined to give their ages, said their newborn girls, both born on New Year’s Day, were a blessing to them. Mpherwana’s baby, Lesego weighed 3,48 kg at birth, while Mathebula’s baby, Kuvonakala Blessing Nkuna, weighed 3,3 kg.
Kganyago said the department congratulates all new mothers. “New life is a precious gift indeed,” he concluded.

Story and photos: KAREN VENTER
>>karen@observer.co.za

Dimakatso Maruma-Machaba with her baby boy who was born on Christmas Day at Mediclinic Limpopo. With her is Zanele Mahlaela, one of the nurses who took care of mother and baby during their stay in hospital.

Tsakani Mathebula with her firstborn, Kuvonakala Blessing Nkuna, a girl born on New Year’s Day at Pietersburg Provincial Hospital.

New Year’s Day baby girl, Lesego with her mother Koena Mpherwane and nurse MA Mocheke at Pietersburg Provincial Hospital.