mufakose maternity clinic.jpgThe number of pregnant women who are foregoing pre-natal care and giving birth at home continues to rise in the country as most of them in the low to middle income bracket are failing to raise maternity fees being charged at local clinics.

 

Cases of pregnant women being locked out when they go to seek help at clinics and some who end up losing their lives or their babies due to birth complications arising from not being attended to are also on the increase in the country.

 

A survey conducted by ZBC News around some high density suburbs in Harare has shown that most women cannot afford the US$50 required by polyclinics to register for maternity.

 

Pregnant women said they find it difficult to raise such an amount at a time when they will also be raising money to buy basics for a new born baby.

 

Others called on council to revise its directive where women who would have delivered are detained in hospital until they raise the required amount.

 

Despite the Harare City Council Health Department announcing plans to introduce a new system where women will be allowed to register for maternity care without paying cash upfront, nothing has ever been implemented as pregnant women are still being turned away.

 

Maternal mortality is a serious challenge in developing countries including Zimbabwe.

 

Some of the main causes of death during childbirth especially when one is not in a hospital are excessive bleeding, hypertension, sepsis and obstructed labour.

 

The government recently launched a campaign on the reduction of maternal mortality, which seeks to reduce the number of women dying at childbirth.

 

The programme is an African Union initiative which grew out of a commitment made at the 12th Assembly of Heads of State and Government held in Ethiopia last year.