WARNING: Some readers may find the images below disturbing

According to several online reports, maternity wards in Zimbabwe have been overwhelmed due to a nurse’s strike, brought on by the coronavirus pandemic…

Nurses across the nation have been on strike due to a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), leaving expectant mothers to endure labour alone in overcrowded wards.

On Wednesday, Dr Peter Magombeyi at Harare Central Hospital tweeted a devastating image of seven tiny bodies wrapped in green cloth. All allegedly stillborn due to lack of medical care during the birth.

Dr Magombeyi tweeted, “We have been robbed of our future, including our unborn babies. Please stop the looting.”

“Unborn children and mothers are dying daily, or suffering from the repercussions of inadequate care,” said a statement from the Zimbabwe Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

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In response to the tragic images released by Dr Magombeyi, Constitutional lawyer, Fadzayi Mahere tweeted, “Our hospitals are now death chambers. At Harare Hospital, nurses & doctors are on strike. Of the 8 expecting mothers, only 1 took her bundle of joy home today.”

According to a report by the BBC, eight Caesarean section operations were performed at the hospital on Monday night. Seven of the babies were stillborn.

Twitter commenters noted that this was not a unique occurrence. Hundreds of infants and sick people are dying daily due to a lack of adequate medical care.

Statement from the Zimbabwe Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

“The situation in our hospitals is 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.”

“The nurses strike means that there is insufficient staff to monitor women in labour, administer medications and assist the doctors in the hospitals. Simply put unborn children and mothers are dying daily, or suffering from the repercussions of inadequate care.”

“Our hospitals need adequate staffing and sundries as well as medication to provide care. Even in the face of COVID-19 restrictions Maternal and Child health care remains essential and its neglect could result in more indirect COVID-19 related deaths.”

 

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