Health fund offers relief for rural women

The scrapping of maternal and child healthcare fees through Unicef’s Health Transition Fund (HTF) has put smiles on the faces of rural women.

Expectant mothers said the removal of emergency fees for pregnant women and children under five came as a major relief because of rising poverty in the rural areas.

Maidei Murovi, waiting for her 18-year-old daughter-in-law at Ndanga Hospital, said she now had peace of mind because the hospital told her that all the drugs she needed were available. Her daughter-in-law could give birth without payment.

“We used to sacrifice huge amounts of money for bookings at the maternity ward,” Murovi said. “Now, we are benefting from the new facility.” After receiving $6,000 from HTF, officials at nearby Harava Clinic refurbished the centre.

Mavis Mudzamba, the senior nurse, was ecstatic: “Our first target was to buy all the essential drugs,” she said. “Although we don’t have an ambulance here, we can afford to hire transport with the HTF money to transport patients to referral hospitals like Musiso.”

Headman Clemence Chikara said the situation at Harava Clinic had improved significantly. “The clinic was nearly collapsing. There were shortages of drugs. Donkeys and goats roamed around the place because there was no fence,” he said.

“The involvement of community leaders in planning contributed hugely to the effectiveness of HTF in maternity and child healthcare,” added Chikara.

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