$5 Per Scream: Zimbabwe Hospital Charging Women Giving Birth For Every Scream In Country Where Average Wage Is $150 A Year [VIDEO]
A $5 per scream fee is being charged to women in labor in Zimbabwe, part of a costly series of medical fees that is leading to a surge in at-home births and a skyrocketing mortality rate for expectant mothers. USA Today is reporting that the $5 per scream fee was spotted in a report from Transparency International, an organization investigating the widespread corruption in the sub-Saharan African nation, one of the world's poorest according to Global Finance.
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The $5 per scream fee was instituted to allegedly discourage women from "raising a false alarm, according to the Washington Post. And while a $5 per scream fee might sound ridiculous to Westerners, it becomes downright diabolical considering that the average annual wage in Zimbabwe is around $150 per year. It's also part of a $50 labor fee charged to expectant mothers, meaning that a $5 per scream fee, if charged enough times, could effectively wipe out one year of income for an already impoverished family.
As a result of the $5 per scream fee many expectant mothers are opting to attempt at-home childbirth. It's, at best, a risky life-or-death gamble. The United Nations reports that, on average, eight mothers die during childbirth every single day in Zimbabwe.
The $5 per scream fee is being seen as a sign of the effusive corruption plaguing the daily lives of Zimbabweans. According to the Transparency International report as many as one out of four Zimbabweans admitted to paying a bribe of some sort in the last year.
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