Sat, 22 Oct 2016 10:36:35 +0000
TRADITIONAL healers in Lundazi district have been blamed for high maternal mortality rate in the district.
Lundazi District Hospital midwife, Chileke Yambisa has observed that the Hospital had continued to record high rates of maternal deaths despite various interventions because most women were consulting traditional healers on various ailments.
Ms. Yambisa alleged that the increasing number of traditional healers in the district was contributing to the high maternal mortality rate.
She noted that some pregnant women often preferred going to traditional healers for assistance when faced with any form of complications during delivery.
“Lundazi district is one of the districts in Eastern Province with a lot of traditional healers who are registered with, Traditional Health Practitioners Association of Zambia (THAPAZ).
“These traditional healers sometimes attend to matters concerning pregnant women because pregnant women would rather go and see a traditional healer when they have complications than going to a hospital and that is contributing to the high maternal mortality rate in the district,” Ms. Yambisa said.
She suggested that there was urgent need to engage traditional healers and sensitise them on the importance of referring pregnant women to health facilities.
Ms. Yambisa stated that this year alone, the district had recorded seven maternal deaths due to delays in referring women with pregnancy complications to health facilities.
“Traditional healers should be engaged and sensitised to refer pregnant women with complications to the hospital. Usually when the traditional healers realise that they cannot handle the situation, that is when they bring the women to the hospital and by they then, it is often too late and lives are lost,” she said.
Ms. Yambisa reiterated that the maternal mortality rate would only be reduced if traditional healers were adequately sensitised.
She also urged pregnant women to seek medical attention first when faced with any complication.
“The women should understand that before they seek help somewhere else, a health facility should be a first point of call for anyone of them,” she said.