Hospital: $5 Charge Per Scream During Childbirth in Zimbabwe

Friday, 12 Jul 2013 03:00 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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A hospital in Zimbabwe charges women $5 every time they scream during childbirth, according to a new report on corruption around the world.

The report, released this week by Transparency International, found that Zimbabwe's crooked health care system had nurses charge women a fine every time they screamed in pain during childbirth, reportedly in an effort to "curb false alarms."

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Hospitals in the financially ravaged country in southern Africa also charge a $50 delivery fee — a staggering figure when a person's average annual income is a mere $150.

The Transparency International report also claims that women who can’t afford these payments are sometimes detained by the hospitals and charged interest until their families pay up, according to The Washington Post.

The maternity mortality rate in Zimbabwe is shocking. About 10 women die every day of pregnancy related complications — that's three times higher than the global average — according to the Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey. 

Though Zimbabwe's Deputy Prime Minister has called for an investigation into the report's allegations, news of the fines for screaming during childbirth still outraged users on Twitter.

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Related stories:

US Birth Rate Falling in Uncertain Economic Recovery

Zimbabwe Has Just $217 Left, Finance Minister Admits

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