A study was conducted by Chengeto Trust in partnership WAG with support from Urgent Action fund following the strikes by Doctors and nurses in November 2019.The purpose of the study was to; assess the impact of the doctor’s and nurses’ strike on maternal health services; assess coping mechanisms by communities to the maternal health crisis; and assess the current situation in the maternal health service delivery.
The study revealed that maternal health delivery system deteriorated as incidences of home deliveries were reported in Mbare and Mabvuku. Lives of pregnant women and their babies were lost due to delays in getting help at facilities due to lack of skilled personnel. Antenatal Care services were also compromised which affected HIV testing services for pregnant women and access to Prevention from Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT). Access to family planning services were also affected during the strike.
Communities came up with their coping mechanisms during the strike where they ended up resorting to traditional birth attendants which resulted in more home deliveries and maternal deaths due to complications. The study came up with a number of recommendations and key advocacy asks for improving maternal health services. The study findings and recommendations have been disseminated with Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care.