A nurse’s strike in a Zimbabwean hospital leads to seven stillbirths

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Sally Mugabe Hospital is operating on skeleton staff, and babies are dying as a result.

Reuters Africa has reported the stillbirths of 7 children in a big Zimbabwean hospital, caused by a lack of adequate healthcare from the nurses. Last month, nurses went on strike demanding payment in US dollars.

The continuing strike has left the hospitals operating on fewer staff members, even in the face of a coronavirus spike. Zimbabwe has over 3000 positive coronavirus cases and 53 deaths.

The doctors working in the maternity ward told Reuters that out of the eight deliveries handled in the hospital, only one was successful. This was in Sally Mugabe Hospital, which is the largest in the country.

“Dysfunctional and a death trap to citizens” is the description one of the doctors used to describe the situation in the hospitals. Some doctors even went as far as commenting that the stillbirths were “highly preventable”.

Also read: My son was stillborn, but he still had to have a name

A uterus rupture, for instance, is caused by the mother not being attended to on time.

“When interventions were made it was to save the mother,” the doctor shared.

Zimbabwe’s Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists commented, stating that “unborn children and mothers are dying daily, or suffering from the repercussions of inadequate care.”

They are anticipating the situation in hospitals to worsen as doctors also threaten to down tools.

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