MUTARE provincial Hospital acting medical superintendent, Dr Emmanuel Sedze says most district hospitals are referring maternal cases that would be in bad shape, resulting in increased maternal deaths being recorded from their institution.
By Michael Gwarisa recently in Mutare
The development comes amidst indications that some hospitals in the province recorded zero maternal deaths while some only have a few mortality cases while the provincial hospitals which handles the bulk of referral cases from district hospitals is left to bear the brunt of deaths owing to the advanced stage in which the maternal referrals come in.
Responding to questions on the side-lines of a UNFPA/ZNFPC organised media tour of the facility, Dr Sedze said the institution was battling to service the swelling numbers of patients from the seven surrounding districts and was in need of a revamp so as to accommodate the large numbers.
“On the issue of maternal deaths, we have nine specialists and among them we have got three gynecologists so that means any complications arising from the austerity sides are well catered for.
“We do refer cases to Harare, but the majority of the cases we deal with them here. Most of the maternal deaths which we have are referrals from other health centers let’s say from Chipinge and they come in a very bad shape and by the time they get here, there wouldn’t be anything much we could do,” said Dr Sedze.
In a week the institutions receives not less than 20 maternal referrals from the seven districts which include Nyanga, Chipinge, Mutasa, Chimanimani, Marange, Zimunya and Sakubva.
“As an institution however, we have a number of challenges since we are also managing a pharmacy here, we have a challenge with drugs and patients are failing to access a lot of drugs even sundries. The other thing is that this is a very big hospital and caters for so many people.
“However, we need a bigger hospital as this hospital was built in 1891 and by then, the catchment area which it used to provide care for and its providing for now are different and there is a very big gap, so we need a bigger unit so that we can provide services in a more free and comfortable environment,” said Dr Sedze.
He however applauded government for scrapping blood user fees which he said has gone a long way in reducing and curbing maternal mortality since most maternal deaths were as a result of hemorrhage.
“As you know, blood is now for free and the stocks of blood depends with stocks at the Blood transfusion Services (BTS) in Harare and remember they are different types of blood groups. But basically in terms of our pregnant women, I can say they are well catered for.”
Meanwhile, Nyanga District Hospital matron, Sister Dorothy Toma said her institution has not recorded any maternal death over the past two years.
“We offer maternal services here, we have an average of 300 to 350 deliveries per quarter. Then for the Ante Natal Services (ANC) which we offer here, we see about 160 first ANC bookings and for the below 16 years we rarely see those falling pregnant therefore there are no bookings for the below 16s.
“For the past two years, we recorded zero maternal deaths but this year we had one but it was a community death, not at this facility but at one of our neighboring health institution,” said Sister Toma.