Saturday, 8 August 2015

Leaders in Sasame, Gokwe are fining women who give birth at home

TRADITIONAL leaders in Sasame, Gokwe are fining women who give birth at home in an effort to combat maternal mortality.

Chiefs are fining the women US$25 while headmen are charging US$5 or two goats.

Chief Nemangwe said: “Introducing a fine for home deliveries is the only way we can encourage (pregnant women) to visit health facilities. However, since the introduction of the fines, no new cases of home deliveries have been brought before our courts.” Sasame Clinic’s Sister-in-Charge Bokang Mugwisi said the drastic measures had resulted in a sharp drop in home deliveries from 10 in 2012 to three in 2014.
leaders in Sasame, Gokwe are fining women who give birth at home
She said: “The move by traditional leaders to fine pregnant women for giving birth in homes has urged women to desist from practicing unsafe birth. It has also encouraged women to seek medical attention; we applaud the move.”

Sr Mugwisi said some women were forced to give birth at home due to long distances to clinics.

“Some pregnant women have to travel more than 20km to receive medical attention and that discourages women from walking such long distances,” she explained. “Encouraging women to give birth in health facilities has seen a reduction of the rate of children born with HIV mothers as the Option B+ comes into play.”

Option B+ is a prevention of vertical transmission approach for expectant mothers living with HIV in which they are immediately offered treatment regardless of their CD4 count.

Pregnant women in vulnerable communities can access free medical attention after Government, through the Health Transition Fund, scrapped user fees to reduce maternal mortality. This has resulted in a reduction of the maternal mortality rate from 960 per 100 000 live births to 614 per 100 000 live births in 2014.
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