Zimbabwe: Gynecologists Launch Urgent Appeal to Govt Over Poor Maternal Care State

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28 July 2020

The Zimbabwe Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Tuesday issued a sombre plea to the government to urgently attend to the state of hospitals as expecting mothers are losing their babies at an alarming rate.

The association said the situation in hospitals is beyond dire and the government needs to intervene quickly before more lives are lost.

"Our women are suffering and we believe that all stakeholders, the government, medical practitioners, civil society and individuals must act to save the voiceless mothers and babies," reads the statement.

The situation has been worsened by the nurses strike at major public hospitals which has left most of the facilities understaffed.

"Simply put ,unborn children and mothers are dying daily, or suffering from the repercussions of inadequate care.

"We believe the grievances of the Healthcare workers are valid and must be addressed as a matter of urgency," the statement further reads.

However, in its weekly Cabinet update, the government said it will not be bringing back the striking nurses but will fill the void from the available pool.

"More nurses will be urgently recruited from the available pool of qualified nurses, while processes to resolve those on industrial action continue," said the government.

A medical doctor, Dr Norman Matara took to social media to express dissatisfaction with how the government has neglected maternity care during the Covid-19 time.

"The carnage happening in our health system. This maternity register at one of the tertiary hospital in the capital shows that seven out of the eight deliveries on this chart resulted in stillbirths. Heartbreaking. Pregnant women cannot access maternal health services," he said in reference to the daily statistics at Harare Hospital's maternity ward.

Zimbabwe's health system has worsened in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic with the government diverting attention to fighting the virus while neglecting other services

Health Activist, Itai Josh Rusike attributed the collapse in the health sector to the poor performance of the economy which has made it difficult for people to access basic health services.

"The current health crisis in Zimbabwe comes from wider economic collapse and the increasing extent to which people are not accessing basic public services with negative consequences for people - high mortality and significant risk of untreated communicable and chronic diseases," he said.

The ZSOG further appealed to Health Ministry to offer urgent solutions to the health crisis.

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