Econet founder and philanthropist Strive Masiyiwa has begun to mobilize funds to support the maternal, child-birth sections of Zimbabwe’s largest referral hospitals to arrest infant mortality at childbirth.
Masiyiwa’s action follows shocking recent media reports of seven babies that were reportedly stillborn in one night at one of the country’s largest referral hospitals after urgent treatment was delayed due to staffing challenges.
A few weeks ago the BBC News service ran a story which shocked the world. My wife and daughters were crying openly.
Here is the story:
I told them that we must focus our attention on doing what we can to help, as philanthropists. Which is why we set up Higherlife Foundation 25 years ago.
Fast Forward (to today): We have now mobilized funds, mostly from our international friends, as well as our own resources.
We intend to immediately support the seven national referral hospitals that deliver 90% of the babies in Zimbabwe.
A new programme has been put in place which will support midwives and other employees working at these maternity facilities. The programme is similar to our support for doctors.
This is a private initiative. It is totally voluntary, and we are working directly with anyone interested in working with us.
Hopefully, as we roll out this programme, this type of thing will not happen again.