The aftermath of Cyclone Idai is adding further strain to the health system in Zimbabwe that is putting expectant mothers and their unborn babies' lives at risk.
The lives of mothers and babies are at risk in Zimbabwe. UNICEF desperately needs a further $65,000 in funding to expand the Child Survival Program to vulnerable mothers and babies.
Being heavily pregnant in remote districts in Zimbabwe is dangerous.
Your loved one is just about to give birth. What do you do?
Stay where you are with no medical assistance?
Do you walk to the nearest small hospital? It could be up to 40km away.
What if there are complications? Can you risk a long and expensive journey to the nearest largest hospital, more than 400km away?
These are some of the reasons why maternal mortality rates are 55 times higher in Zimbabwe than in Australia, and amongst the worst in the world.
A decade of economic crisis, a long-running drought, and recent Cyclone Idai have devastated Zimbabwe’s already dangerously fragile health care system. Every day, UNICEF’s field staff are growing more worried about the lack of training and support for essential health care professionals.
Rudo and her beautiful newborn baby. They both survived a difficult delivery because someone like you helped fund training for the doctor ©2019/Zimbabwe/Meck.
Rudo is 34 and lives in Binga, a remote district in northern Zimbabwe. She was in labour for 16 hours. Her blood pressure was high, her unborn baby was facing in the wrong direction for delivery and its heartbeat was weak. The doctor on the scene, Dr. Goronga, had never faced such a complicated delivery.
When Rudo and her unborn baby’s life was in danger, it was thanks to the direct support of this program that an experienced doctor was at the scene ready to mentor Dr. Goronga through the difficult childbirth, helping him perform an emergency caesarean.
Rudo and her beautiful baby girl were lucky as they were in one of the five districts where UNICEF’s Child Survival program is operating. If Rudo’s complications had occurred in a different district, the results could have been tragic.
The impact you can make for mothers and newborns in Zimbabwe
You support can make a life-saving difference for children
Could train four village health workers who can provide essential maternal, newborn, and child health care
Could buy a utility kit including scales, thermometer, and torches allowing local health workers to provide care
Could buy a bicycle to help village health workers visit and provide support for mothers and newborns
We desperately need to provide these life-saving programs to fifteen more districts as soon as possible.
Your generous donation can do this.
These soon-to-be-mothers have travelled long distances and are now waiting at the district hospital. They sleep on the hard floor as they wait for their babies to be born ©2019/Zimbabwe/Stirling.
Since this program started in 2017, Binga district hospital has not recorded any deaths during deliveries. Prior to this program, women facing complex cases were referred to larger hospitals far away.
Improving the skills and confidence of local medical staff has resulted in more babies and young children receiving the care they need closer to home.
Every donation you make to this project will be combined with funding from the Australian Government to reach more people. We have committed to contribute $1 for every $5 we receive from the Australian Government.
Your donation allows us to extend our programs. Thank you so much for contributing to our work for every child and mother in Zimbabwe.
In the event that this appeal raises more money than is needed to cover the funding gap in our Child Survival Programs in Zimbabwe, your donation will be used to support other UNICEF programs where the need is greatest to help children and their families survive and thrive.