A mother died hours after giving birth to triplets at a remote rural hospital in Matabeleland North, officials confirmed on Wednesday.
The 32-year-old woman from Binga, who has not been named, was unaware she was carrying triplets until she went into labour at St Patricks Hospital in Hwange.
Expecting mothers in rural outposts do not undergo pre_gnancy ultrasound scans because the equipment is not available at most of the country’s poorly-resourced hospitals and clinics.
The woman naturally gave birth to the first baby, but had to undergo surgery to get the other two out, hospital officials said.
She was later transported by ambulance to Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo, a distance of 400km, after her health deteriorated.
Mpilo Hospital Clinical Director Dr Solwayo Ngwenya told ZimLive that the woman had lost too much blood by the time she was brought to them on the night of September 24.
“We tried everything here, but it failed. She died on September 25,” Dr Ngwenya said.
He denied the ongoing strike by doctors was a decisive factor.
“We had a highly competent medical team that operated on her when she got here. We had the doctors but there was not a lot they could do. She had bled too much and stabilisation efforts were in vain,” he said.
Ngwenya said the triplets – two girls and a boy – were “doing well”.
“They’re due for discharge very soon,” he said.
Hospital staff are “deeply touched” by the tragedy and have appealed to well-wishers to donate clothing and food for the triplets. Their father, who arrived in Bulawayo following his wife’s death, is unemployed.
“She already had three children, now they are six but she’s no longer there to take care of them. It’s a very sad, sad, situation,” Ngwenya said.
Ngwenya said individuals and companies wishing to make donations should contact Mpilo’s public relations officer Ozias Ndlovu on +263772881992