Maternity waiting homes have been identified as a facilitating factor for delivering at health institutions and the government is now recommending that women who stay in rural areas be offered this facility for at least three weeks before they deliver.

However some pregnant women who are staying at the Marange Rural Hospital maternity shelter have bemoaned the deplorable state of ablution facilities at the health institution and are living in fear of contracting diseases.

Pregnancy complications are usually undetectable during the early stages and often become evident during labour, especially if the expecting mother does not go for antenatal checkups.

For women who live far away from health facilities, such complications can be fatal.

In an effort to reduce complications during delivery for women who stay far away from health facilities, the government in conjunction with some cooperating partners came up with the concept of maternity waiting homes.

While the model of maternity waiting homes has lessened the risk of maternal or neonatal death, pregnant women who are staying at Marange Rural Hospital awaiting to deliver said the ablution facilities at the hospital are in urgent need of repair.

Some of the women are now resorting to using the bush system to relieve themselves or walk to the nearby shopping centre.

Efforts to get a comment from the hospital authorities were fruitless as the provincial medical officer was in Mutare.

Most maternity waiting homes in the country were constructed with funding support from cooperating partners.

Observers have urged local communities to play a part by repairing worn out or adding supplementary structures to make the waiting homes safe and comfortable for expecting mothers.