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Women charged $5 per scream while giving birth

10:46 AM, Jul 12, 2013   |    comments
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John Johnson, Newser

The Washington Post has spotted an almost too-hard-to-believe nugget from an international report on corruption: A hospital in Zimbabwe charges women $5 for every time they scream during labor.

In theory, it's to curb "false alarms," but it's really about "separating mothers from their money," writes Max Fisher.

Zimbabwean hospitals also typically charge a $50 delivery fee, which may not sound like much until you realize it amounts to a third of an average citizen's yearly income, says Transparency International. That helps explain why so many women opt to give birth at home, and why the United Nations estimates that eight Zimbabwean women die each day in childbirth.

The overall report also found that 1 in 4 people paid a bribe last year.

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