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Expectant mothers bemoan healthcare workers industrial action

Expectant mothers have expressed fear over their lives and that of their unborn babies due to the ongoing strike which has resulted in nurses not reporting for duty in the last eight days.

By Minenhle Moyo

The health workers have resorted to industrial action as they demand that their salaries be paid in United States Dollars as the Zimbabwean currency rate is deteriorating daily.

This move has, however, left most expectant mothers in panic as they say lack of attendance by nurses puts their unborn babies’lives at risk as they need regular checkup.

In Focus News spoke with some women on condition of anonymity who said they have stopped going for their regular check-ups as they are being turned back without being attended to by doctors or nurses.

“Ever since l was turned back l have never bothered myself to go back to the hospital. l have been experiencing pain and at times l get scared I might lose my baby from these unexplained pains, even if I go to the hospital, who will i explain the pains to?” said Sizalobuhle Siziba (not real name).

She added that she has resorted to home remedies which are not for the safety of the unborn child.

Siziba said: “I now use home remedies to ease the pain but l am scared it might harm me or my baby.”

Some of these women said they now go to expensive private hospitals in order to get all the services they need.

Mrs Gugulethu Moyo who gave birth last week said she resorted to a private clinic to receive better care and protect herself and her child.

“The fact that in a private hospital you are given all the services that you pay for made me choose to go to a private hospital for maternal health care and also reduce the risk of contracting the deadly coronavirus” she said.

The industrial action by health workers comes at a time when the world is fighting against Covid-19 and this has had a negative bearing to other health services such as regular check-ups for expectant mothers, family planning, HIV and Aids treatment thus posing health risks to women’s lives.

The women called on the government and the health workers to reach an agreement to enable health workers to report back for duty in order to save lives.

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