Zim Pregnant Women Forced To Pay Bribes To Access Blood

Zim Pregnant Women Forced To Pay Bribes To Access Blood
Published: 2016 June 15 07:45:39 (1441 Views)

PREGNANT women in Zimbabwe are allegedly being forced to bribe officials in order to access the life-saving blood, a local health lobby group has said.

Citizens Health Watch (CHW) trustee Fungisai Dube disclosed that the cost of blood remained a cause for concern in Zimbabwe with officials indicating the precious liquid remained beyond the reach of ordinary people.

“The issue of women paying bribes in order to access blood coupons has become prevalent in the country’s referral hospitals,” Dube said in a shocking revelation that indicates the extent of corruption in Zimbabwe reaching alarming proportions.
 
Dube spoke as the country joined the globe in commemorating World Blood Donor Day.

“The cost of blood in Zimbabwe remains the highest in the Southern African region and this has increased the burden of accessing health care services for consumers whose pockets are already stretched. Our organisation continues to receive with concern reports of individuals being unable to access blood transfusion services because they cannot afford the high costs,” she said.

Dube added that the cost of blood products in Zimbabwe was currently ranging between $150 and $200 per unit which is way beyond the reach of many.

With pregnant women being some of the biggest consumers of blood, government, in a bid to reduce maternal mortality, declared free blood to all pregnant women, but to date they were still being forced to pay.

Executive director of the Aids and Art Foundation, Emmanuel Gasa, also revealed that it was important for the government to commit to the Abuja Declaration and fund the struggling health sector.

“The government needs to put meaningful and effective legislation on issues to do with the health of the people and they must honour the Abuja Declaration by giving 15% of the National Budget to the health sector.”

Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa could not be reached for comment.
 

- Own Correspondent
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