The ongoing rolling power cuts are forcing women to deliver babies using candlelight.
A 26-year-old Harare woman, Mitchell Matarause, told Al Jazeera that she delivered her baby in the evening when there was no electricity. She said:
There was a candle on the table. I heard the midwives say that they could not see properly, so they had to use torches as additional light sources. As one midwife assisted me, the others held the torches.
I was just praying I deliver well, without complications. I feared the worst and sighed with relief when it was over.
Earlier this year, the country’s power utility, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), introduced 18-hour load-shedding following reduced electricity generation at Kariba Hydro Power Station and a shortage of foreign currency to import from neighbouring countries.
Power cuts become a threat to women when they experience complicated pregnancy and childbirth which require electricity for the resuscitation of the baby, warmth from radiant heaters, lights and operative delivery.