Harare Woman Gives Birth In A Clinic Toilet After Being Neglected By Health Caregivers
A Harare woman allegedly gave birth in Glen View Poly Clinic after being neglected by health caregivers at the institution.
The incident which occurred on the 27th of September 2022 has attracted the wrath of other residents who have now petitioned Harare Mayor, Councillor Jacob Mafume over the matter.
The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) claims that Ms Esthina Swaba gave birth in a toilet at Glenview Poly Clinic on Tuesday the 27th of September 2022.
This was reportedly after the health personnel on duty refused to attend to her when she was in labour and referred her to Harare Hospital.
The health caregivers allegedly argued that the Glen View Poly Clinic’s policy does not allow attending to pregnant women who will be giving birth for the fifth time.
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It is alleged that the nurse on duty further withheld the woman’s maternal health card for an unspecified reason despite referring the woman to Harare Hospital.
In their petition to the Mayor, the residents highlighted the violation of human rights provided in sections 48, 51, 53, 68 and 76(1) of the Zimbabwean Constitution which speak of the right to life, right to personal dignity, right to be protected from physical, psychological harm and/ or degrading treatment, right to administrative justice, and the right to have access to basic health-care services among others.
The constitution also states “that no person may be refused emergency medical treatment in any healthcare institution.”
Therefore, the residents demand the Harare Mayor to:
i. Make a mandatory policy for all the health personnel on duty to wear name tags/staff badges for easy identification and to improve the complaint reporting mechanism.
ii. Direct the Health Director to publicize the Patients Charter including sharing digital posters of the charter and hanging posters of the charter at all council clinics, and offices.
iii. Inform the Director of Health to effect disciplinary measures on the nurse/health personnel who ill-treated Ms Swaba and if possible remove her from Glen View Poly Clinic, and take responsibility for any damages and cost incurred during giving birth caused by the negligence of their health personnel.
iv. Increase budget allocation and fiscal commitment toward maternal health care provision in the 2023 Council Budget, and make maternal health a priority in the year 2023.
v. Put maternal health provision on the agenda of the upcoming Full Council Meeting or call for a Special Council Meeting to discuss the Status of Maternal Health Care Provision in the City and come up with recommendations.
vi. Set up an Investigation Committee in terms of Section 100 of the Urban Councils Act 29:15 on the Status of Maternal Health Provision in the City of Harare, considering the continued reports of negligence, corruption and poor maternal provision in Council health centres across the city.