Government to train community midwives as health scare hits the country
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of information Nick Mangwana said, "Government announced a move to open Edith Operman Maternity Clinic for pregnant mothers in Mbare. It also announced the training of those nyamukutas (community midwifes) who helpfully support those who delivers at home. Pregnancy and motherhood are known to be beautiful experiences."
The statement by Mangwana irked Zimbabweans who questioned him whether the re-introduction of community midwives was news in the 21st Century.
"It's actually meant for the expectant mothers to know and yes it's news. The good thing about news is no one is forced to read that which does not stimulate them."Mangwana said.
The ongoing strike by nurses and doctors has left many pregnant mothers stranded because they cannot afford the high fees being charged by private hospitals and clinics resulting in them turning to informal midwives.
#Zimbabwe health crisis, Gvt fired 100s of Doctors, health facilities closed, pregnant women go for backyard deliveries! @UNZimbabwe @MoHCCZim @MSF_southafrica @euinzim @News24 @Newzroom405 @InfoMinZW @ZBCNewsonline @AlJazeera_World @WHO @ZHDAofficial @AgnesOdhiambo @hrw pic.twitter.com/6L5liSemJD— Dewa Mavhinga (@dewamavhinga) November 16, 2019
One of these midwives is Gogo Esther Gwena from Mbare who delivered well over 100 babies in a single week.
Gogo Esther Gwena who is a midwife with St Johns Apostolic Church of the Whole World, stays only a few meters from the council-run Edith Opperman Clinic. However, since the clinic is still closed, Gogo Gwena's apartment has become the defacto "maternity ward" for many expecting mothers who cannot afford private health care.