Maternal mortality campaign

HARARE - A new initiative to create awareness for maternal mortality in Zimbabwe has been launched as the Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality (CARMMA).

Campaigners say that between 1,300 and 2,800 women die each year due to pregnancy-related complications, and most of these maternal deaths are avoidable. Additionally, another 26,000 to 84,000 women and girls will suffer from disabilities caused by complications during pregnancy and childbirth each year.

Health and Child Welfare minister Dr Henry Madzorera said “an unacceptably high” number of deaths during pregnancy or childbirth has been recorded. CARMMA aims to bring the families and communities together to stop thousands of these maternal deaths every year.

Campaigners say a lack of health facilities coupled with the lower social status of the women affected are to blame for high mortality rates. A musical CD by Baba and Mai Charamba has been produced to help the campaign with a theme song “Zimbabwe Cares: No Woman should Die while Giving Life.

“The song seeks to educate and entertain the public and policy makers in making sure that every pregnancy is intended, safe and results in a positive outcome of a healthy mother and baby,” Dr Madzorera said.

From the time a girl is born, to her nutrition and education, it’s a story of neglect. Women get married young, they have no access to family planning methods, they have no say in reproductive matters and many women suffer from anaemia and malnutrition,” said health analyst Shupikai Makamure, describing the maternal mortality issues as a “silent emergency”.

Most victims are poor people in remote rural areas who have little access to healthcare. Many others cannot afford to give birth in hospitals. Dr Madzorera said discussions were underway for all government hospitals to remove user fees so that pregnant women could receive treatment for free. He said Zimbabwe hoped to meet the 2015 Millenium Development Goals and targets.

Post published in: Politics

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