The emergence of denial to access maternal health care services have resurfaced in Harare at Glen View and Budiriro Poly Clinics, a situation that has a potential to claim lives if not addressed urgently.
Pregnant women allege that Glen View Poly Clinic is no longer registering pregnant women for maternal health services while health personnel at Budiriro Poly Clinic are instructing those who want to register for maternal health services to come and register on the day of delivery.
“I wanted to register for maternity but I was told by the Sister in Charge that Glen View Poly Clinic is no longer offering maternal health care services and that I should go somewhere but now am stuck”, bemoaned a pregnant woman.
At Budiriro Poly Clinic the situation is astonishing and terrifying as the health personnel are not moved or treating pregnancy as an emergency.
“My delivery dates were due in December but the nurses told me to come on the day of delivery with the registration money”, Said a hopeless nine-month pregnant woman who visited Budiriro Poly Clinic last week.
CHRA has engaged the management in the City Health Department on the matter and they have promised to conduct a fact finding mission at the clinics to address the crisis.
The denial of access to maternal health services also came at a time when the City of Harare unilaterally resolved to close nine clinics in the City citing health personnel shortages and to this end CHRA has engaged legal experts for possible litigation.
In October 2020 the High Court granted an Interim Relief to pregnant women and ordered the Harare City Council to open all its 42 clinics and offer pregnant women emergency treatment after the local authority had closed more than 30 clinics.
Insiders have pointed out that moral is too low in the health department due to poor working conditions and the recent proposal to transfer local authority nurses to the central government to access their wages and salaries
Maternal health care services are protected under Section 76 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which gives citizens the right to basic health care including reproductive health services with citizens given the right not to be refused emergency medical treatment in any health care institution.
Source: Combined Harare Residents Association