In an interview with Radio VOP Reporter at Mbizingwe Clinic, one of the Nursing staff who refused to be quoted because of past experience said that she informed her superiors in Esigodini who had promised to come but later said they are not coming.
“We informed our superiors in Esigodini but they said that they have also been ordered not to accept the donation by their superiors in Harare. I cannot accept this donation without my superiors. In 2005 l was closed in that office and threatened by my bosses and l might leave this clinic and go and work elsewhere if l accept this donation of blankets,” said the Nursing Sister.
The Nursing Sister shed tears when she was explaining how her superiors threatened to fire her or transfer her from Mbizingwe Clinic for accepting a donation in 2005.
“My life will be difficult if l accept these blankets. l doubt very much that l will work well l if l accept these blankets because it will cost my job,” said the Nursing Sister while wiping off her tears.
However, Misihairabwi-Mushonga left the blankets at Mbizingwe Clinic and said the health officials from Esigodini will know what to do with the blankets.
“I have left the blankets as you saw, how can an official employed by the State order nursing staff to refuse to accept an important donation this time of the season.
“Honestly, expecting mothers and infants need these blankets, l will not take them back to Harare and as you saw, the expecting mothers are using worn off blankets but someone not from this community orders nursing staff not to accept blankets for the reason best known to them,” said the Minister.
Misihairabwi-Mushonga launched a campaign in April this year to buy blankets for donation to rural clinics to alleviate the plight of pregnant women in winter.
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.
She said that since January she had visited a number of rural areas and was touched by the plight of pregnant mothers in these rural clinics, in particular the lack of blankets in winter.
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.