Home » Health Services » Health Sector Shortcomings Blamed for Maternal Deaths

Zimbabwe Nurses’ Association president Mrs Regina Smith has attributed the high maternal death rate to inefficiencies in the health sector.In an interview at a midwifery workshop in Gweru on Wednesday, Mrs Smith said Zimbabwe had the highest rate of maternal deaths in Southern Africa.

African Impact organised the workshop in collaboration with the Commonwealth Nurses Federation and ZINA.

“It is disheartening to learn that Zimbabwe and Swaziland have recorded the highest rates of maternal deaths in Southern Africa. Zimbabwe recorded 960 (deaths) per 100 000 live births as of last year.

“However, the number is rising and we are afraid we might not be able to achieve Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5. Most deaths are caused by the delay in accessing health services as well as failure of nurses to attend to patients on time (because there are too few of them),” she said.

Mrs Smith said the workforce was disgruntled due to poor remuneration, which aersely affected service delivery.

“The cream of our nurses left the country in search of greener pastures when we fell on hard times. The most experienced staff has left. We have inadequate nursing staff. The remaining few are disgruntled by poor remuneration and have not been properly executing their mandate.

“We want to increase the accessibility to health services to expecting mothers so that they are attended to on time to avoid loss of life. Most of the deaths are caused by the delay in accessing health services by these pregnant mothers,” she said.

Mrs Smith said there was a need for the Government to step up strategies to reduce maternal deaths, especially in rural areas.

Source : The Herald