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White Ribbon against health rights violation

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White Ribbon Alliance – WRA, a Non Governmental Organization that aims at improving safe motherhood, is concerned over what it calls the continued disrespect expectant women experience at the hands of some health personnel when they seek maternal services.

WRA National Coordinator, Nancy Kamwendo, stressed that this remains a major obstacle in ensuring that all women deliver in public health facilities.

She made the observation during training for the organisation’s Mtakataka Chapter Volunteers in Dedza.

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It was meant to enlighten participants on the health rights of expectant mothers.

Kamwendo challenged the participants to pass on the message to their communities to safeguard women’s health rights, from pregnancy to delivery period.

“It is sad to note that expectant women continue to be disrespected, for example we have on record a scenario where a woman, after delivering, was detained simply because she had no baby suit and the seller happened to be a staff member.

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Such developments push women away from the health facilities,” Kamwendo said.

She further cited citizens’ failure to differentiate between Nurses and Midwives, especially in rural areas, as another factor compromising safe motherhood.

She said currently, Malawi has 3,420 midwives on the bedside, against a population of 4.1 million women.

Mtakataka Chapter Chairperson, John Mpangampanga was hopeful that the knowledge they have gained will bring change in society.

“Today we have learnt about issues we thought were normal, only to realise that they are an infringement of our health rights, especially for women,” Mpangapanga said.

Participants were drilled on timely assistance, secrecy and privacy, violent free environment, equal treatment, feedback and no patient detention.

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