Zim babies born on hospital floors

Baby toes. Picture: Sxc.hu.

JOHANNESBURG - State media in Zimbabwe is reporting that babies are being delivered on the floor of Harare's main hospital, as moms-to-be flood the institution following the scrapping of fees.

New mothers are being discharged 24 hours after giving birth at the Harare Central Hospital, and matrons at the facility are unhappy with the situation.

In a bid to cut the rate of maternal deaths, Zimbabwe recently scrapped fees for pregnant mothers at provincial hospitals.

That has led to a huge influx of disadvantaged mothers, who might otherwise have given birth at home.

At least 70 women arrive at the maternity wing of the Harare Central Hospital per day, and staff are swamped.

The Sunday Mail this week reported that women have had to swap between the beds, benches and the floor to give birth.

Mothers-to-be are supposed to register at the hospital ahead of their due date, but many are being referred on by state clinics at the last minute and resources are severely overstretched.

(Edited by Thato Motaung)