- “If left unchecked, this habit will lead to the loss of many lives of both mothers and babies because some midwives with bad attitudes may not attend to the patients for not having the supplies.
By SANFROSSA MANYINDA
GOVERNMENT health institutions should stop asking expecting mothers to provide their own delivery supplies during labour, the Medical Quality HealthCare in Zambia (MQHZ) has said.
It has condemned the practice and advised the government to ensure that the trend was seriously looked into.
MQHZ Director-General Quince Mwabu said that expecting mothers had the right to be attended to regardless of the circumstance.
“If left unchecked, this habit will lead to the loss of many lives of both mothers and babies because some midwives with bad attitudes may not attend to the patients for not having the supplies.
“This is where quality healthcare services start from. Let pregnant women be attended to without being disturbed and being treated badly because of this. You ask expectant mothers to come with Jik and razor blades for what?” he said.
Dr Mwabu stated that delivery supplies were in the past provided by the health facilities and wondered what had happened for what he termed a seemingly normal trend.
He called on the government to increase funding in health facilities so that what he described as a bad trend would be discouraged.
However, the Ministry of Health has maintained that buying the supplies was not a forcing matter but that it was meant for those that could afford. Ministry spokesperson Dr Abel Kabalo said, “delivery preparation supplies are always available for the purpose of delivery in our facilities. It is not a forcing matter, it is for those who can afford”.
Financial barriers among some cases have therefore been causing some women to deliver outside health facilities, contributing to maternal and neonatal mortality.
Among other supplies expectant mothers are asked to buy are surgical blades, surgical gloves.