Doctors in Zimbabwe said on Wednesday that 7 children were born dead in one night in a major hospital this week because their mothers did not get proper medical care due to the nurses' strike, Reuters reported.
The nurses began a general strike across the country last month, demanding their salaries in US dollars, which the government says is what it cannot afford.
The disagreement over working conditions has left hospitals paralyzed, and the strike has cut the number of employees, doctors, and senior nurses in government hospitals to a minimum, while the state is struggling to increase the incidence of HIV infection.
Three doctors working in the Department of Obstetrics and Pediatrics told Reuters: "Only one woman managed to have a baby out of the eight pregnant women who underwent cesarean section on Monday evening at Sally Mugabe Hospital, the country's largest hospital.
"It was possible to prevent this," said one of the doctors, who asked not to be named. "Some mothers have had their wombs torn apart because no one is following their condition, so when the intervention was done, it was to save the mother."
Another doctor said that fetal deaths in childbirth are just an indication highlighting the state of Zimbabwe 's public hospitals, which have become "unable to do their job and have turned into a death trap for citizens."
The Society of Gynecologists and Obstetricians in Zimbabwe said the situation in hospitals was "very shocking".
"Simply put, fetuses and mothers die every day, or suffer the consequences of inadequate care," she added in a statement.
The situation may worsen with the expiration of the deadline set by the senior doctors to raise their wages on Wednesday without reaching an agreement. Doctors said they would continue the strike.