Tobias Mudzingwa Herald Reporter
THERE is need for collaborative efforts to fight maternal mortality, especially in teenagers and elderly women in rural areas, First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa has said.
Making reference to her recent tour of Kanyemba, Mashonaland Central Province, the First Lady pledged to help marginalised communities.
“It was disheartening noticing heavily pregnant teenagers who neither knew their age nor that of their pregnancies. I was equally shocked to see pregnant elderly women. I then realised the need to educate communities on the dangers of getting pregnant at such early and late stages, not only for the Kanyemba women but for all women across the country,” she said.
The First Lady said there was need to have community-based health personnel working in rural areas.
“All things being equal, there is need to have home-based community health workers in these areas since building hospitals and clinics may take time yet people are suffering and at times dying. There is also need for knowledgeable women to cascade this information to fellow peers so that we fight together,” she said.
The First Lady urged stakeholders to join hands and address the plight of children in marginalised communities.
“There are several challenges being faced by children nowadays, particularly those who grow up without adequate maternal care. These are the same children who end up getting unwanted pregnancies. I exhort all women therefore to make time to converse with their children and get to hear how they lead their lives because it is during such conversations that you get to know of their problems,” she said.
The First Lady said it was important to involve men in the fight against maternal mortality.
“Men are doing little in supporting their wives once they get pregnant. They are also culprits in domestic violence in homes, something that builds an inward, unwanted fear in children.“