Zim blogger posts of baby loss in 'grimy' hospital

2016-06-08 18:28


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Harare - A shocking account by a Zimbabwean mother of losing her premature baby in a dirty under-staffed hospital in Harare has sparked emotion and frustration on social media.

In a blog post this week @makaitah wrote of giving birth to her baby at 24 weeks in Parirenyatwa Hospital's maternity ward, which she described as "the portal to Satan's lair".

The blogger - understood to be writer Makaita Kagwere-Mangwende - spoke of filthy bathroom hospital facilities, uncaring interns and nurses (except for one "friendly face"), and of being left unattended to on a hospital bench for four hours while she was in labour. 

Most horrifying of all, she speaks of giving birth to her premature baby in pain and alone - a baby who "was kicking his tiny legs as if riding a bicycle". A nurse tells @makaitah to say goodbye to him. "She took my baby and left. She never came back," she writes.

'Everyone needs to read this'

Hours later @makaitah and her husband are told that the baby didn't make it and "was incinerated". The young mother has to drag herself out of her bed and out into a hospital corridor to get attention because she's losing so much blood after her placenta is manually removed. She had been left alone in a room.

The tragedy - which is being widely shared and commented upon on Twitter - is understood to have happened in 2014.

"This happened to my sister too. Everyone needs to read this," wrote @plumandmustard.

Commented @carol_int: "I worked at Pari for 3 days in 2012. I just couldn't take it anymore. I had to leave." Pari is a commonly used abbreviation for Parirenyatwa Hospital.

"This story broke my heart," wrote @datmarianndage.

Worsening cash shortages 

Zimbabwe's health facilities have never really recovered from the 2000-8 economic crisis, which saw shortages of even the most basic drugs in leading health institutions and the mass exodus of doctors and nurses wanting better working conditions. 

Health Minister David Parirenyatwa - the son of the late nationalist Tichafa Samuel Parirenyatwa, who the hospital is named after - warned this week that worsening cash shortages in Zimbabwe were "a hazard" to the health sector. 

Those with cash and contacts often seek medical care outside the country. President Robert Mugabe's daughter Bona recently gave birth to her first child in Singapore, where the 92-year-old president travels frequently for medical attention. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was in hospital in South Africa last month. Former education minister David Coltart has also recently been for a biopsy in South Africa, according to his Facebook page.

Commenting under her blog post, @makaitah acknowledges that what she went through was "horrific, so many untold terrors and deaths... I thank God I came out of it alive!"

She says her son Malik was born healthy 10 months after the tragedy.

Read more on:    robert muagbe  |  zimbabwe  |  health  |  southern africa

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