Traditional methods keep babies alive


MASVINGO — Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe got the shock of her life in Chivi recently when she discovered that staff at the district hospital were using traditional methods to warm pre-maturely born babies due to the shortage of incubators at the institution.
Health officials at the referral centre are using what they call the “Kangaroo method” to keep the babies alive. Incubators at the institution broke down several years ago. The “Kangaroo method” is a process where mid-wives place pre-mature babies between their mother’s breasts for warmth in the absence of an incubator.
Khupe had gone there to officially launch a campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Motility at the hospital.
“We do not have incubators here so the staff has improvised the Kangaroo method to warm babies with the assistance of their mothers,” said a nurse at the institution.
The acute shortage of equipment compounded the myriad of problems, she said.
In response, Khupe said the government was mulling plans to scrap the payment of hospital fees for pregnant women and children under the age of five.
“The era where pregnant women and children under the age of five paid for services at point of access will soon be over.
“We must now interrogate the system and come up with innovative ways of financing healthcare and come up with options to complement
government efforts,” she said.