Harare Women Delivering In Candlelight

WOMEN in most Harare City Polyclinics are delivering their new born babies with the aid of Candlelight owing to the prevailing power cuts which have crippled most health sector operations

By Kudakwashe Pembere

In an interview with HealthTimes, Harare City Health Director Dr Prosper Chonzi said they have been having challenges with the solar systems they use though they have since addressed the problems.

That has been sorted I think. That has been rectified. There was a power problem recently. All our clinics have solar power as backups including the one in Mufakose. Unfortunately their solar system was down. They have a small generator but we have sorted it out,” he said.

He added that they had the power challenges for several weeks.

“This is not the first time we have had that issue. That has been happening for some weeks now,” he explained.

He further explained that due to the incessant power cuts stretching 18 hours a day, solar energy is now the main source instead of backup.

“These solar systems were installed some time.  They are supposed to be used as backup but now it almost looks like the solar is now the first line of power,” Dr Chonzi said.

Ideally, expecting women are supposed to be in a warm, and properly lit rooms

A source in Mufakose who requested anonymity  had told this publication that candles have been used at a Polyclinic for a while now.

At Mufakose Poly Clinic they have no back up power system so the clinic mandates every lady to bring two candles for baby delivery,” the source said.

Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo once urged the City Health Department to fix the lighting issue in their wards, which however Dr Chonzi says has been fixed.

Not only Harare has had its maternity units affected by the power cuts but other district clinics were women were reportedly burnt by candle wax during childbirth.

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