CCTVs for health in­sti­tu­tions

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Paidamoyo Chipunza Se­nior Health Re­porter

A LO­CAL non-gov­ern­men­tal health watch­dog - Cit­i­zen Health Watch - has urged the Govern­ment to in­stall closed cir­cuit tele­vi­sions (CCTVs) in ma­jor in­sti­tu­tions to en­sure pa­tients re­ceive ap­pro­pri­ate and qual­ity health ser­vices.

CHW ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor Ms Fungi­sai Dube said health work­ers’ at­ti­tudes con­tinue to be at the top of the list of health ser­vice de­liv­ery dis­cus­sions with pa­tients.

“For the past three years that we have been mon­i­tor­ing ma­ter­nal health ser­vice de­liv­ery in pub­lic health in­sti­tu­tions in the coun­try, we noted that the is­sue of health work­ers’ at­ti­tudes con­tinue to come top of the list of griev­ances pre­sented by pa­tients,” said Ms Dube.

She said some of the pa­tients never man­aged to get re­course or clo­sure on their com­plaints de­spite bring­ing them to the at­ten­tion of the re­spec­tive in­sti­tu­tions.

Ms Dube said to mit­i­gate the chal­lenge; Govern­ment must con­sider in­stalling CCTVs to mon­i­tor the de­liv­ery of health ser­vices to pa­tients.

She said in some in­stances, there was loss of lives, thereby con­tribut­ing to high ma­ter­nal mor­tal­ity rates in the coun­try.

Ms Dube said as a health watch­dog, they were work­ing with var­i­ous in­sti­tu­tions in the coun­try to iden­tify and fol­low up on some of the cases in an ef­fort to stir di­a­logue be­tween pa­tients and in­sti­tu­tions.

“Some women would have lost their newly born ba­bies and to them neg­li­gence or health work­ers at­ti­tudes would have con­trib­uted to their loss,” she said.

“These kind of en­gage­ments will not only bring clo­sure to their cases, but would also cor­rect any anom­aly that might have taken place dur­ing the process within the in­sti­tu­tion it­self.”

Most of the women who spoke at the sum­mit con­curred that the process of bring­ing life needed sup­port even from the health work­ers.

They said in some cases, lives were lost due to neg­li­gence and slow pace in at­tend­ing to emer­gen­cies.

One of the ado­les­cent moth­ers who spoke to The Her­ald chron­i­cled how she lost her third child at one of the re­fer­ral hos­pi­tals in Harare.

She said de­spite her ar­riv­ing at the in­sti­tu­tion as early as 8am and hav­ing been placed on the sched­ule for emer­gency cae­sarean sec­tion, she was handed her baby when it was al­ready dead around 6pm.

She said on in­quir­ing what had hap­pened to her baby when she was feel­ing all move­ments all along, she was given two con­flict­ing ex­pla­na­tions.

“Ini­tially, I was told the baby died while it was still in the womb, but later on I was told it died soon af­ter birth af­ter swal­low­ing meco­nium, while in the womb,” said the 24-year-old mother of one who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity. “They said they tried to drain it, but it didn’t work.”

Sev­eral other ado­les­cent moth­ers shared their ex­pe­ri­ences, with some also cit­ing poor liv­ing con­di­tions at some moth­ers’ wait­ing shel­ters.

About 100 ado­les­cent moth­ers, mid­wives and other health work­ers at­tended the sum­mit, which ran un­der the theme: “Start with the pa­tient and leave no one be­hind.”

Ten mid­wives se­lected from dif­fer­ent prov­inces, in­clud­ing nurse aid Ru­tendo Chi­weshe from Parireny­atwa Hospi­tal were also hon­oured at the sum­mit for their ster­ling ef­forts in pro­vid­ing ap­pro­pri­ate and qual­ity health care to ex­pec­tant moth­ers.

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