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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 February 2008, 01:46 GMT
From Harare: Hospital heartbreak
Harare skyline [Pic: Robyn Hunter]

Esther (not her real name), 28, a professional living and working in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, is writing a diary on the challenges of getting through each day.

Zimbabwe is suffering from an acute economic crisis. The country has the world's highest rate of annual inflation - and just one in five has an official job.

A woman on a trolley at a hospital in Harare
Some operations cannot be done because of drug shortages

My mother works at a hospital in Harare.

Last Wednesday, she saw a woman who was referred from a major provincial hospital because of a complicated labour.

She had originally come from a smaller rural health centre, but could not be attended to because of the severe drugs shortage hitting our country.

She should have been ferried to Harare as an emergency but the ambulance available had no fuel.

When she finally made it, there where no drugs here either and so she still could not be treated.

My mother said it was heartbreaking because they all knew what was meant to be done for her, but they could not do anything.

She was finally sent to another clinic, but my mum later found out that her uterus ruptured on the way.

So far, my mum doesn't know if the woman did make it through. She has put the word out amongst her colleagues to try to find out.

I don't even know if one can survive such an ordeal.

But I will let you know next week if she did, or not.

Let's hope for good news.

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