8 women die daily from pregnancy complications
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According to the budget speech, government has set aside US$10 million to alleviate the problem in 2012 while pledges amounting to US$435 million by development partners and government have also been channelled towards the restoration of good maternal healthcare between the years 2011-2015.
Gender activists however feel that the government of Zimbabwe is not doing enough to reverse the scary statistics.
"One of the major contributing factors to the high statistics is the financial hardships caused by the economic situation in the country. On average, women should be empowered through assistance in projects that will help them earn money such that if they are pregnant, they can go for check-ups to detect any complications in advance. Poverty again also contributes to the death of children because most people cannot afford to get medication for their children. Surely government should act fast!" said Florence Guzha the Women's Coalition Midlands representative.
The government has also come under spotlight for failing to meet the promises it makes. Some civic organizations and pressure groups have highlighted that there has to be mechanisms put in place to force it to deliver on key areas such as health and education. Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) have even suggested that citizens have the right to sue government if it fails to deliver.
Human Rights lawyer, Matshobana Ncube of Phulu and Ncube Legal Practitioners said currently the constitution does not allow citizens to sue government but that right might be in the new constitution which is still being drafted.
"We have no specific right to health in Zimbabwe in the same way South Africans have. We only have the right to life and it is not clear if the right to health is also included in that right. This means that Zimbabwean citizens do not have the legal right to sue government directly. An alternative is to sue hospitals that are believed to have caused the deaths of family members due to negligence. The good thing is that Zimbabweans demanded the right to sue government during the outreach process of the constitution making process," he said.
UNFPA propounds that the leading direct causes of maternal deaths are pregnancy induced hypertension/eclampsia, postpartum hemorrhage, puerperal sepsis, malaria and obstructed labour.
HIV has also emerged as the leading indirect cause of maternal mortality.
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