The Burden Of Inadequate Maternal Health Care Services In Rural Communities
Chido Nyoni (16) who lives in Nyanga lost her parents and had to stay with her abusive uncle, who sexually abused and impregnated her. Left homeless, she sort refuge from a midwife for a traditional home birth.
“When my pregnancy got due l did not have money to travel to St Mary. l had to negotiate with the midwife. Since the conditions were not conducive for safe delivery l had complications, coupled with excessive bleeding. By the time l got birth the baby was already dead” she said
"Living in a rural setting access to prenatal and postnatal health care services is a challenge," Nyoni lamented. People have to travel long distances to St Mary hospital, for Chido it was cumbersome as she could not afford the transport fee, let alone the hospital bills.
Such are the challenges that young girls and women in rural areas are facing. In the case of Chido the family structure which is a key support system had broken down and where she sort refuge proved to put her at risk and she lost her baby. In Zimbabwe 67% of the population live in rural areas and most of these are women and girls, where availability, accessibility and affordability are key issues impinging on health utilization and high maternal mortality remains pervasive