Home » Health » Maternity Waiting Homes Boon for Rushinga

The handover of 11 maternity waiting homes constructed in Rushinga District by the Organisation for Public Health Interventions and Development (OPHID) in partnership with the Government to the local community will help reduce maternal deaths in a district where most births are done at home by unskilled midwives.

Speaking at the handover at Mazowe Bridge Clinic, Australian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Ms Suzanne McCourt said the homes would ensure that rural women delivered safely in appropriate healthcare facilities.

“Having mothers waiting homes (MWHs) for expecting women means that they are able to plan their travel and be accommodated at the clinic in their final weeks of pregnancy,” she said.

“The improved facilities MWHs will enhance access for women who would otherwise not use health services. They will eliminate the risks associated with home deliveries and save the lives of women and children here in Rushinga.”

The construction of MWHs was made possible through financial support from the Australian government and the Burnet Institute.

The Ministry of Health and Child Care is the implementing partner.

“We are proud as Australia to have supported such a worthwhile initiative,” Ms McCourt said.

Rushinga MP Cde Wonder Mashange said construction of maternity waiting homes would go a long way in ensuring that women in Rushinga received quality maternal and child health services.

“The waiting homes will compel more women to deliver in clinics and hospitals where there is professional expertise,” he said.

Cde Mashange said there was need to build new clinics, provide skilled health professionals and more financial support for rural healthcare systems to prevent maternal deaths.

A study conducted by OPHID in 2012 showed that a high number of women in Rushinga delivered their babies at home, citing long distances to the clinic and the unavailability of appropriate facilities to accommodate expecting mothers while they waited for delivery.

The newly built structures are expected to increase the uptake of facility-based deliveries in the district and contribute towards improved maternal and child health.

Since the intervention by OPHID, institutional deliveries have increased from 83 percent in 2012 to 90 percent in 2014 while home deliveries fell from 17 percent to 10 percent over the same period.

In Zimbabwe, 525 women die per every 100 000 live births, according to the country’s national health statistics.

Source : The Herald