Expectant mothers in parts of the Midlands Province’s Shurugwi District are at high risk of maternal deaths as local clinics have no maternity waiting shelters, it has been established.
By Stephen Chadenga
Shurugwi’s Ward 5 health worker, Margaret Maunganidze, recently told Southern Eye that their nearest health centre, Banga Clinic, had no waiting shelter, a situation which has forced some pregnant women to prefer home deliveries.
“It’s a great challenge that we do not have a mother’s shelter at Banga Clinic,” Maunganidze said.
“We have situations where pregnant women give birth at home as they wait until they are about to deliver to go to the nearest clinic.”
There are 24 wards in Shurugwi district and Banga Clinic is the only one without a maternal waiting shelter.
The clinic serves about 2 000 people in the surrounding areas.
A representative of the Banga chieftainship, Alford Mfiri, said Ward 5 received $25 000 under the Shurugwi-Tongogara Community Share Ownership Scheme, adding that the money would be used in the construction of a mother’s waiting shelter at Banga Clinic.
“The 24 wards in Shurugwi district received $25 000 each under the share ownership scheme and it is our intention to construct a mother’s waiting shelter at Banga Clinic using part of that money,” Mfiri said.
The government recently said it was revamping the concept of maternity waiting homes which over the years have not been adequately supported.
Official statistics indicate that at least 12 women die of pregnancy-related illnesses every day in Zimbabwe.
The millennium development goal number four calls for the reduction of under-five mortality by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015.