newly-born.jpgAt least 36 rural district hospitals have scrapped maternity user fees as government intensifies efforts to offer free maternity services in all state run medical institutions.

 

One of the hospitals which has started implementing the new measures is Mutoko District hospital.

 

Pregnant women at the hospital commended government for making maternal care accessible to all as well as the revitalisation of waiting rooms.

Other people from Mutoko said the move to scrap maternity user fees will lessen their burdens as the cost of giving birth had soared, thus putting at risk those who cannot afford.

According to the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, the country’s maternal mortality ratio currently stands at 725 deaths per every 100 000 live births. It is anticipated that if there are no impediments, maternity care fees will be offered free in all state run hospitals by the end of this year.

The scrapping of user fees is also expected to boost the country’s chances of attaining Millennium Development Goal Number 4 of reducing child mortality by 75% and goal number 5 of improving maternal health by 75% by 2015.

Council clinics in Harare charge $35 for maternity.

Zimbabwe is one of the countries in Africa which adopted the Campaign for Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA) last year.