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UNICEF's Vivian Siu reports on programs reaching pregnant mothers in Zimbabwe.
Tags:Health Services for Pregnant Women in Zimbabwe,maternal mortality in Zimbabwe,maternal mortality rate in Zimbabwe,pregnant women health care in Zimbabwe,prenatal exams in Zimbabwe,unicef,united nations childrens fund
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Health Services for Pregnant Women in Zimbabwe
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Vivian Siu: Emelda arrives at Harare Hospital in Zimbabwe’s capital for her prenatal exam. Unlike many pregnant women, she was able to secure the $50.00 required for her antenatal check up. With proper care, she will be lead to a healthy and safe delivery. In Zimbabwe, money is a killer. Eight mothers die giving birth every day. Most of the deaths are avoidable and treatable and yet years of decline in health services have forced many women to deliver outside a health facility where they face death when complications arise.
Sister Aqualine Magandi, a midwife from Kuwadzana Clinic has seen this scenario played out a number of times.
Sister Aqualine Magandi: Most of them cannot afford the $50.00 we are charging but there are so many dangers in delivering. We also encourage them to deliver at clinics because we want to prevent consequences like postpartum hemorrhage. If the mother bleeds at home, it’s difficult for them to erase the hemorrhage.
Vivian Siu: The government charges fees at public hospitals to support expenses it has no means of covering. As an urgent step towards revitalizing the broken system, the inclusive government of Zimbabwe led by the ministry of health and child welfare with support from UNICEF, the World Health Organization and the World Bank have launched the Health Sector Investment Case.
Between 2009 and 2010, the Zimbabwe government invested 9% of its annual budget in the health sector. However, an additional $700 million are needed to revitalize the entire health sector over the next three years. Through adequate financing, the Health Sector Investment Case has a target to reduce the maternal mortality rate by 17%.
Hon. Thokozani Khupe: A healthy nation can only come from healthy women. The current stage was 725 out of 100,000 deliveries die during pregnancy. No woman should die while it’s giving life.
Vivian Siu: Only through investing in Zimbabwe’s fragile health system will there be any hope of achieving the Millennium Development Goals of reducing maternal mortality and avoiding unnecessary deaths.
This is Vivian Siu reporting for UNICEF Television. For more information, go to unicef.org. Unite for Children.