Masline Mavudzi Herald Reporter
Sixty-nine mothers died while giving birth last year at Harare Central Hospital and Government is making serious efforts to reduce maternal mortality in the country, an official has said.
Officially opening the newly refurbished maternity ward at Harare Central Hospital, vice chairperson of the hospital’s management board, Mrs Flora Matambo said the statistics showed a decline in maternal deaths from 79 in 2014 to 69 in 2015.
“Last year we had 69 deaths and we are happy with the decline because in 2014 they were 79. We will continue to provide best facilities for our patients to deliver children safely,” she said.
“We tend to have higher maternal deaths because we face a lot of referrals after patients face complications before they come to us. But I want to assure you that we do everything we can to improve the chances for mothers and children’s survival.”
She commended private partners for their efforts to improve maternal health system at the hospital.
“I want to express my heartfelt appreciation for the sterling work done by Absolute Return for Kids (ARK), (a non-governmental organisation that deals with maternal mortality) such a facelift has a positive impact on the health care tendered to the patient,” said Mrs Matambo.
“This has introduced the much-needed privacy for our clients and also greatly enhances the infection control process minimising sepsis among our patients.”
ARK country director Dr Vonai Teveredzi said their main goal was towards improving patients and staff motivation.
“The current work by ARK is an attempt to provide the inputs that is infrastructure and materials to facilitate infection prevention,” she said.
“Improving easy access to hand washing and maintenance of cleanliness of the environment to reduce the risk of transmissions of infection in the hospital.”
Dr Teveredzi said renovations of the maternal hospital were pegged above $21 000.
An estimation of 273 500 women die every year as a result of maternal complications especially in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
In Zimbabwe, 610 women out of every 100 000 die while giving birth.