Misihairabwi-Mushonga who is also the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) secretary general called on Zimbabweans to donate to the cause when expressing her sadness over the plight of pregnant women admitted at health institutions.
“In the last 3months I have visited a number of rural areas and I have been touched by the plight of pregnant mothers in these rural clinics, in particular the lack of blankets and as winter is here I have been convicted by the reality that as I and many of us sisters are snuggled in warm beds, many of these women and their tiny babies are freezing.
“I have checked with national blankets in Bulawayo and one blanket is only $11, if in all our numbers deposit for a blanket or two we will make this winter bearable,” Misihairabwi-Mushonga said in her note launching the campaign.
“I will personally deliver those (blankets) to the clinics; if you want us to give the clinics the names of those who donated we will do so. If you also will leave your contact details with National Blankets and we will tell where your blankets went,” she added, indicating that Zimbabweans should contact her office and donate to the cause.
Deputy Prime Minister, Thokozani Khupe is another government official who has also expressed her sadness over the plight of pregnant women in the country, saying that is the cause for the high mortality rate.
Khupe has called for the scrapping of the user fees for pregnant mothers at hospitals and clinics to ensure that they receive treatment for free.
The country’s health system was weakened by years of economic upheaval. In the last decade, the country’s health care services declined dramatically. This increased maternal and child mortality by more than double what it was in 1990.
According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), at least eight mothers die giving birth everyday translating to over 2 500 women dying every year due to pregnancy-related complications.
Observers say most of these maternal deaths are avoidable.