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Khupe urges maternal mortality action
26/04/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
 
Concerned ... Thokozani Khupe
 
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DEPUTY Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe has called for a major revamp of the country’s primary health care system as it emerged that at least 10 women dying everyday during childbirth.

“It is disheartening to note that the number of women in Zimbabwe dying during delivery has increased from 725 deaths for every 100 000 live births to 960 deaths for every 100 000 live births,” she said Thursday.

The increase means about 10 women are now dying everyday around the country during child birth.

Khupe said the Zimbabwe must stop charging maternity fees to help address the problem.

“Our call for revitalizing the primary healthcare in general and the removal of user fees maternal care in particular will go a long way in addressing the unacceptably high rate of maternal and infant mortality in our country,” she said.

“The deaths are increasing for both mothers and children further confirming the need for intervention.”

Authorities should also move with speed to disburse money secured through the Multi-Donor Health Fund to help improve healthcare facilities around the country.

“I call for the urgent disbursement of funds extended through the Multi-Donor Health Fund as well as the financial support pledged by the Zimbabwean Government towards this endeavour,” she said.

“The inability by the majority of our mothers to pay maternity fees contributes to this increase in maternal mortality. Availing this support could go a long way towards reversing the unfortunate trend.”

Zimbabwe suffered a major economic crisis over the last decade which led to a dramatic decline in health care services, an area where the government boasted a proud record in the years after Independence.

However, combined efforts by the coalition administration and international donors over the last three years have helped stabilise the sector.

Donors also partnered the government in establishing Multi-Donor Health Fund whose broad objective is to eliminate user-fees for women and children and ultimately save more than 30,000 lives among children under five and pregnant women.



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