Seven babies stillborn in one night as medics go on strike over lack of PPE

WARNING – UPSETTING IMAGES: The maternity ward in Harare Hospital, Zimbabwe, was overwhelmed as nurses and doctors went on strike due to a lack of personal protective equipment

    Seven babies were stillborn in just one night at a hospital in Zimbabwe, it has been reported.

    The tragedies occurred as urgent treatment was delayed because of chronic staffing issues at Harare Hospital, the BBC reports.

    Maternity wards were overwhelmed as nurses and doctors went on strike over a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other concerns.

    The deaths first were first published by Dr Peter Magombeyi, who tweeted: "We have been robbed of our future, including our unborn babies. Please stop the looting."

    Seven babies died in one night in one hospital
    (Image: @advocatemahere /Twitter)

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    On Monday night, eight Caesarean section operations were performed which left seven of the babies tragically stillborn.

    "There was very, very late intervention," an anonymous doctor told the BBC.

    "Two of the mothers had ruptured uteruses and needed early operations. The other operations were done because of obstructed labour, but were not done on time so the babies died, stuck in their mothers' pelvises."

    Hospitals have been hit by a nurses' strike in Zimbabwe – this chart lists some of the deaths
    (Image: @advocatemahere /Twitter)

    The scenes in Harare's two main state hospitals have been described as 'dire' as the remaining staff struggle to cope.

    "These are not isolated incidents. This is repeated every day and all we can do is watch them die. This is torture for the families, and for the junior doctors," said a second doctor.

    Drugs to treat eclampsia, and blood supplies needed to treat haemorrhages were not available in addition to a chronic shortage of PPE.

    Zimbabwe's Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists described the situation as "grave," and "beyond dire".

    "Our women are suffering and we believe that all stakeholders, the government, medical practitioners, civil society and individuals must act to save the voiceless mothers and babies."


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