Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Constantino Chiwenga while addressing the 19th edition of the International Inter-Ministerial Conference on Population and Development in Thailand on Monday said the Ministry of Health was working hard towards reducing maternal mortality to zero.
“Regarding Maternal morbidity and mortality, Zimbabwe is working relentlessly to achieve Zero preventable maternal deaths and maternal morbidities. Let me emphasise that no woman should die whilst giving birth (to life),” said VP Chiwenga.
Dr Chiwenga disclosed that the country was registering notable strides in reducing maternal mortality citing that the rate fell from 614 in 2014 to 462 deaths per 100 000 live births in 2019 and that strategies were being implemented by the Ministry to address maternal mortality.
“Zimbabwe is experiencing a continuous downward trend in maternal mortality rate from 614 in 2014 to 462 deaths per 100 000 live births in 2019. Whereas this remains unacceptably high, it is pleasing that we continue to consolidate the gains that have been realized so far.
“My ministry is implementing strategies to address the causes of maternal mortality which include; delay in making decisions to seek health care, delay in accessing health and delay in getting the appropriate care,” said Dr Chiwenga.
The VP said the country had made a decision to make maternal services available to all people by scrapping off maternity fees and that blood and blood products are now free of charge in public hospitals.
“In a bid to increase access to delivery in health institutions, Zimbabwe has removed maternity fees in all government health facilities for pregnant women (All pregnant women now deliver free of charge in government health facilities). In addition, all fees related to access to blood and blood products have been removed in public health facilities with the Government absorbing all these costs,” said VP Chiwenga.