(Last Updated on October 12, 2022 by ZIMDAILY EDITOR)
By Simba – Lyn Chidavaenzi
HARARE – The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) has petitioned Harare mayor Jacob Mafume to ensure that the Patients Charter is enforced at all council clinics after a Harare woman was forced to give birth in a toilet at Glen View Polyclinic after staff allegedly refused to attend to her.
CHRA member for Ward 32, Joyleen Nyachuru, presented the petition, which was also signed by the association’s acting director, Reuben Akili, following the September 27 incident in which staff at the polyclinic reportedly refused to attend to Esthina Swaba (33) from Churu Farm when she was in labour and instead referred her to Harare Hospital citing Council policy which prohibits poly clinics from attending to pregnant women giving birth for the fifth time.
The CHRA officials were also outraged by the nurse on duty’s decision to withhold Swaba’s maternal health card for unspecified reason even though they had referred her to Harare Hospital.
“(We are) further disturbed that the health personnel on duty used derogatory, abusive terms and mocked Ms Swaba because she was giving birth for the 5th time,” reads the petition in part.
The newborn reportedly started vomiting amid indications that she may have swallowed contaminated fluids during labour but later recovered as confirmed by the mayor.
Mayor Mafume received the petition and said he would take proper action after consulting the relevant authorities and the mother.
He handed over donations from the city as well as bed linen from Bronte Hotel.
He said the city would cover all medical expenses.
Meanwhile, CHRA lambasted personnel at council clinics for alleged abuse of women seeking their services.
They made several recommendations to help improve service delivery at council clinics.
They asked that wearing of tags or staff badges by all health personnel be made mandatory for easy identification and as a means to improve the complaint reporting system.
They also requested that the Director of Health make available to the public, the Patients Charter. These should be digital as well as posters that should be pasted in all council clinics and offices.
Appropriate measures of discipline be actioned upon health personnel that allegedly maltreated Swaba.
CHRA further recommended that budget allocation be increased towards maternal health care provision in the 2023 Council Budget, and make maternal health a priority in the year 2023, maternal health be top priority in the upcoming Full Council Meeting and that the mayor set up an Investigation Committee in terms of Section 100 of the Urban Councils Act 29:15 to interrogate the alarming rates of continued reports of negligence, corruption and poor maternal provision by council poly clinics and health centres across the city.