A survey that was conducted by White Ribbon Alliance Malawi has revealed that women are still facing challenges of lack of privacy and confidentiality especially when delivering in many health facilities across the country.
The survey called ‘What women want’ was conducted last year across the country and has also exposed that women lack clean water and good sanitation when accessing some other health services.
White Ribbon Alliance Malawi Executive Director Hester Nyasulu said some labour wards in many hospitals are still not conducive for women’s privacy.
Nyasulu also said women are demanding respect from their health workers when they are accessing services at the facilities.
“In our study which we did last year, women are demanding respect from health workers, privacy and confidentiality. Some labour wards are open rooms. People can see what is happening inside.
“Therefore, we have tried to put up a system which these women can use to report to the Office of the Ombudsman through the hospital ombudsman,” Nyasulu said.
He added that as an intervention, his organisation has donated eight smartphones to safe motherhood volunteers working in different health facilities and communities in Chitipa to help in reporting cases of abuse.
Chitipa District Nursing and Midwifery Officer Jonathan Nyasulu did not challenge the results but only said the facility is working towards improving service delivery.
“We work towards the provision of privacy to the clients and mostly women that are delivering in our labour wards; these ones are treated privately. The findings have helped us because our desire is to improve our services,” he said.
One of the safe motherhood volunteers also agreed with the finding and said the smartphones will help them to be reporting to relevant authorities when health workers fail to provide quality services when women deliver.