By SYLVESTER MWALE -
HEALTH authorities in Chisamba District say a lack of adequate infrastructure at Mwantaya Rural Health Centre is discouraging some expectant mothers from delivering at the clinic.
District health director Mulamba Chibesakunda said in an interview that some women were not comfortable with their privacy at the health centre because the delivery room was close to other rooms.
The new health centre was opened early this year and has a catchment area of about 4,500 people in Chief Chamuka’s area. Until it was opened, the people had been walking about 20 kilometres to the nearest Chipembi Health Centre.
However, the health post has inadequate infrastructure, notably the delivery room which is attached to the consultation room, a situation which compromises the privacy of expectant mothers.
“Some of the challenges that our facility is facing is that some of our women have got an issue with privacy; the room that they deliver in is too close to the next room where patients area waiting.
“But one of the things we have done to reduce those doubts is to use the backdoor and we assure them that they can deliver from that room,” Dr Chibesakunda said.
Dr Chibesakunda said health workers were also engaging men to get involved in the health of their wives so as to enable more women deliver at the clinic.
She said that some men were only involved in the production of children but left all the work of looking after the pregnancy and the babies to their women, a trend she said needed to change.
“With the help of traditional leaders, Chief Chamuka to be specific, we have managed to encourage the men to come in and get involved in the delivery of the children,” she said.
Dr Chibesakunda said the opening of the health centre had come as a big relief to the people in the area who had been subjected to hardships in accessing health services from nearest health centres.
Meanwhile, Chief Chamuka urged his subjects to do family planning in order to raise their children in a responsible and health manner.
The traditional leader noted that having children every year was not only unhealthy, but also created economic pressure in the household.
“You cannot be having babies every year; you have to take these children to school and you will need to pay school fees, but how can you manage to pay the fees if you have a baby every year?” he asked.