7 babies die at Harare hospital during childbirth as nurses strike escalates

Fazayi Mahere recently took to social.media to voice her concerns over the growing disaster at public hospitals in Zimbabwe. This cones after a Harare Central Hospital tragedy in which 7 Babies died at childbirth in one night.

There are reports that Harare Central Hospital suffered a heavy casualty on Monday night when 7 babies died upon Childbirth, due to delayed treatment. According to reports by BBC, Harare Hospital is facing staffing issues with nurses on strike because of lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other concerns.

Two doctors, close to the situation at Harare Central Hospital confirmed to BBC that on Monday night, eight Caesarean section operations were performed. Seven of the babies were stillborn.“There was very, very late intervention,” said one doctor, speaking on condition of anonymity.“Two of the mothers had ruptured uteruses and needed early operations. The other operations were done because of obstructed labour, but were not done on time so the babies died, stuck in their mothers’ pelvises.”

The doctor said the nurses and doctors are overwhelmed because of the strike and few of them are available.The situation is not only restricted to Harare Hospital but several other smaller clinics in the country, resulting in many women coming to the hospital.“These are not isolated incidents. This is repeated every day and all we can do is watch them die. This is torture for the families, and for the junior doctors,” said a second doctor.The doctors said there is serious shortage of PPE and shortage of drugs to treat complications which might arise from childbirth.They said the few available doctors are really trying their best but are just overwhelmed and some are still junior doctors who lack experience.

In a statement, Zimbabwe’s Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists described the situation in hospitals as “grave,” and “beyond dire”.“Our women are suffering and we believe that all stakeholders, the government, medical practitioners, civil society and individuals must act to save the voiceless mothers and babies.”

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