Expectant mothers bemoan baby clothes shops closure

Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
WOMEN in Hwange District have appealed to Government to allow shops that sell baby clothes to open so that pregnant women can buy essential items for their preparations.

Most shops including those selling baby clothes closed as a result of the national lockdown meant to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Some pregnant women and organisations representing women’s rights have appealed to Government to include shops selling baby clothes on the list of businesses providing essential services.

They said they feared many pregnant women were going to give birth without essentials for their babies.

One of the expectant mothers, Mrs Nomagugu Mguni-Mwepu of Mkhosana suburb said she is worried because she bought a few baby clothes hoping to buy more later.

“I only bought a few items and I had planned to buy more few weeks before my due date but now the shops are closed as a result of the lockdown. Authorities should allow shops selling baby clothes and other related products to open probably a day or two in a week to serve expectant mothers like us,” she said.

Another pregnant woman, Ms Evangelista Moyo (25) from Low Density suburb said she was yet to buy clothes for her baby.

“I haven’t bought anything yet because shops selling baby clothes and related products are closed as a result of the lockdown. I am really worried because I’m almost due yet I have nothing for my baby,” said Ms Moyo.

A woman who identified herself as Mrs Sibanda of Hlalani Kuhle houses in Mkhosana suburb said pregnant women’s needs should be prioritised.

“Our finances are split between basic needs and preparing for the unborn child. It is therefore difficult to buy all the requirements at once.

“Most of us can only afford a few items at a time hence we are appealing to authorities to allow shops selling baby clothes to open. I am nine months pregnant which means I can deliver anytime yet I do not have adequate clothes and other requirements for the baby,” said Mrs Sibanda.

Some women said they have turned to social media platforms seeking individuals who are in the business of selling baby clothes and related products.

Women Coalition of Zimbabwe Hwange chapter president Mrs Cathrine Madondo said a number of pregnant women have approached her organisation seeking assistance.

“We have been discussing in our structures in Hwange after realising that many pregnant women are failing to access baby clothes and other related products as they prepare for giving birth.

“It is not a secret that people have no money and as such they buy a few items at a time,” said Mrs Madondo.

She said Government should allow shops selling baby clothes and other related products to open so that expectant mothers can adequately prepare for giving birth.

Ms Melissa Nomakhosi Ndlovu, the programmes manager for Emthonjeni Women’s Forum urged Government to prioritise pregnant women’s needs.

Hwange District Medical Officer Dr Fungai Mvura said while the lockdown has not stopped deliveries at hospitals and clinics, some women were giving birth without baby clothes.

She said a local organisation, Mommy’s Angels was providing baby clothes to some of the women.

Expectant mothers are supposed to have vests, rompers, tracksuits, shawls, socks, hats, wrappers and baby blankets as part of their preparations. — @ncubeleon

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