Amakhosikazi Media Organisation has petitioned the Ministry of Health and Child Care and responsible authorities to create separate wards for women who go through miscarriages in hospitals and local clinics.
Speaking during This Morning on Asakhe, a daily Twitter Space programme hosted by CITE, the Director of Amakhosikazi Busi Bhebhe said the petition was influenced by a woman who had a recent miscarriage and was spotted boarding public transport without any support system.
The petition which is targeting 1000 signatures has so far garnered 639 signatures.
She said there is a need to have separate wards for women who lose their children during childbirth as it has psychological traumas for them.
“Keeping these vulnerable women in the same wards with new mums happily holding, breastfeeding and playing with their healthy babies over the few days they recuperate is insensitive for these women especially since no psychological aftercare is given to them by the hospitals,” said Bhebhe.
She added that there is currently no rule that requires a woman being discharged from the maternity ward to have a next of kin or anyone accompanying them to ensure their safety.
“Many mothers leave the hospital carrying the baby and or the preparation material on their own, at times to board public transportation after such a gruelling experience.”
“ There is also no support or education offered to these women on how they should take care of themselves after a miscarriage for example it is not advisable for women to fall pregnant within the three months of miscarriage as the system will be still cleaning itself, but such information is not offered to women,” she said.
Bhebhe said there is also a need for specialist or responsible authorities who can offer psycho-social support.
“For example, a Councilor can visit and offer the women the support and be checking how they are doing while still in hospital,” she said.
“We, therefore, call on the Zimbabwean authorities and Ministry of Health officials to offer psychological aftercare for mothers who lose their babies or miscarry at public hospitals and clinics before they leave the health centre.”
Bhebhe added that they are calling for separate recovery rooms.
“We also appeal to the officials to provide separate recovery rooms for these women, for them to come to terms with the loss without being constantly reminded of what they would have just been deprived of,” she said
“We also request that upon registration of the pending birth, a next of kin be put in a file and required to be present when a woman is being discharged from the maternity ward for both their physical and mental support and safety.”
Bhebhe said they are also going to send the petition to parliament for legislators to debate it.
The petition can be accessed on https://www.change.org/p/women-who-ve-lost-newborns-or-miscarried-mustn-t-be-placed-in-same-wards-as-new-mothers