Seven babies this week were stillborn in one night at a major Zimbabwean hospital because their mothers did not get adequate medical care due to a nurses’ strike, doctors said on Wednesday, as a dispute over working conditions is crippling hospitals.
Nurses last month went on strike nationwide demanding salaries in US dollars, which the government has said it cannot afford.
That has left government hospitals with skeleton staff, and doctors and senior nurses stretched at a time when the country is grappling with rising COVID-19 cases.
Out of eight pregnant women who on Monday night underwent caesarean sections at Sally Mugabe Hospital, the biggest in the country, only one successfully delivered a baby, three doctors who work in the maternity and pediatric units said.
“This was preventable. Some ruptured their uterus because nobody was there to monitor them — so when interventions were made, it was to save the mother,” one of the doctors said, declining to be identified because they are not allowed to speak to the media.
Another doctor said that fresh stillbirths — meaning a baby that dies during labor or delivery — were just a window into the state of Zimbabwe’s public hospitals, which have become “dysfunctional and a death trap to citizens.”
Expecting mothers are spending hours sleeping on benches or the floor in the cold before they are attended to, as smaller clinics that usually absorb some patients are closed due to the strike, piling pressure on major hospitals, doctors said.
The Zimbabwe’s Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said that the situation in hospitals is “beyond dire.”
“Simply put, unborn children and mothers are dying daily, or suffering from the repercussions of inadequate care,” the organization said in a statement.
The situation could worsen as an ultimatum for higher pay issued by senior doctors expired on Wednesday without a resolution.
The doctors have said that they would also go on strike.
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s spokesman, George Charamba, wrote on Twitter: “When the true story gets known, many shall be shocked.”
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
They stand as eyesores to most passers-by and potential public health risks to authorities, decaying buildings wrapped in tangles of exposed wire, studded with protruding leaky plastic pipes, vegetation billowing from cracks and terraces where particulates from polluted air have accumulated over time. With skyscrapers and ultramodern developments on every side, some of these “nail houses” are also sitting on land worth millions of dollars in Shenzhen’s inferno of a property market, where new-unit and second-hand home prices rival London. In battles over land and development, the nail house phenomenon has become widespread throughout China over the past two decades, with owners
An Italian alpine resort on Friday remained on high alert over fears that a vast chunk of a glacier on the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif could plummet in high temperatures. “No one gets through! No cars, bikes or pedestrians,” was the message at a checkpoint where an automatic barrier and two guards blocked the small road snaking up into a lush valley below the Planpincieux glacier, near the town of Courmayeur and the Italian-French border. The blockade has largely been greeted with contempt by the locals, one of whom said: “It’s a joke.” The huge ice block measuring around 500,000 cubic
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong (FCC) yesterday said that reporters in the territory were experiencing “highly unusual” visas problems, and called on the US and China to stop using the media as a political weapon. Journalists have been caught up in US-China tensions, with both sides placing limits or expelling reporters from their territories in the past few months. Now the spat is filtering into Hong Kong, a regional press hub nominally in charge of its own immigration policies. The FCC said in a statement that multiple media firms had reported delays getting visas in recent months. “The delays have affected journalists