Saturday, July 13, 2013

#CODED-ish::Zimbabwe Hospital Charges Mothers $5 Every Time They Scream During Childbirth

10:43 PM



Giving birth is regarded as one of the most painful human experiences a woman will ever encounter. To deal with the pain, some women opt out for drugs, while others channel the pain by screaming or grabbing a loved one’s hand. But if you’re in a Zimbabwe hospital and you yell out during childbirth, your stay at the hospital could cost you extra.

At a hospital in Zimbabwe, the Global Corruption Barometer, a group that campaigns against corruption, released its annual report, revealing that a Zimbabwe hospital exploits poor new mothers by charging them $5 every time they scream. The charge is said to be for ‘causing false alarm’, according to the report.

Zimbabwe is a poor country and is in economic and political turmoil, so this $5 cost is untenable in a country where $50 is one third of the average income and 95 percent of people in the country are unemployed.

Transparency International contacted the Deputy Minister in Zimbabwe, who ordered an investigation into the charges, and ordered that no additional fines be charged. However, the charge for giving birth at a hospital is still $50, far out of range for most women in the country. As it stands now, many of the women avoid hospitals altogether due to cost.

The group has now set up workshops in Zimbabwe to raise awareness about corruption. Sadly, Zimbabwe is not alone. According to the group’s report, more than a quarter of the world’s population has paid a bribe at least once.

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