A new report about corruption released by Transparency International unearthed something very disturbing about a hospital in Zimbabwe. According to the report, the hospital charges women $5 for every time they scream during labor. Hospitals in Zimbabwe also charge a $50 delivery fee.
Max Fisher of the Washington Post writes about the situation: “The $5 hospital screaming fee, purportedly a charge for “raising false alarm” but clearly aimed at separating mothers from their money, is no joke. Gross domestic product per capita is only $500 in Zimbabwe; average annual income per person is about $150. Zimbabwean hospitals also charge a $50 delivery fee. This means that, in a country where underemployment is 95 percent and poverty is rife, a mother who screams a few times during delivery might owe half her annual income after giving birth.”
Women who cannot afford to pay their bills are often detained at the hospital until their families can come up with the money. While they are being held, their debt also collects interest.
Because of the costs associated with giving birth in a hospital, many women choose to deliver their babies at home, Newser reported. According to a UN estimate, eight Zimbabwean women die each day in childbirth.