Pregnant women in Namibia living in the marginalised communities are still walking long distances to find clinic and hospital facilities a recent report by Ministry of Health and Social Services(MoHSS), European Union (EU) and World Health Organisation(WHO) shows.
The report titled Maternity Waiting homes in Namibia reckons that Namibian women suffer during pregnancy stage due to the fact that they live far from the hospitals.
“Namibian women walk miles to reach the hospitals from the village, with all the procedures that need to be taken during pregnancy it requires energy to go back to the hospital after every appointment scheduled. There is no transport available to the hospital but to walk ten miles per month, with all the pain and all the complications that comes with the pregnancy,” notes the report in part.
According to the report the Ovahimba people who are situated on the outskirts of opuwo, walk miles to get to the opuwo hospital.
“The idea of building a maternity waiting home just outside the hospital has been on plan since then. The Ovahimba people are hoping that the waiting home should start construction as soon as possible because most people don’t make it to the hospital. The whole idea is to have a safe place to stay few days before the labour pains starts, and when the pains finally starts the patient is near to the hospitals with their families besides them for assistance,” the report noted in part.
According to the report the Maternity Waiting Home should be build to have nurses to help those that stays far from the hospitals and to prepare them to be a mother by teaching the pregnant women how to take care of themselves.
“For the children to get important injections and the best was that as soon as the baby comes out, the women would be taken across to the maternity ward of the hospital where everything is needed for a safe child birth,” noted the report in part adding that, “We have villages such as the Onekwaya village in the Ohangwena Region, It takes the Onekwaya population two hours to get to the Engela Hospital with no food and no water to get treated or go for their appointments.”
The report added that, “Now can we imagine a person with disability walking eight miles, the time she reaches the hospital there is no hope of getting any better because of the tiring walk took the little energy left. In terms of pregnant women, Namibian women have suffered from many miscarriages due to hospitals situated far from home and being told to come back when labour pains starts, and then we wonder why the infant mortality rate is high.”
It also added that health of the pregnant women and all other people should be taken as the number one priority.
“Namibia is a peace and stability country, if health could be the number one priority to every single citizen it could be a happy and paradise Country. Let the thought of women having “a safe place to stay when the time comes be implemented” noted the report in part.
It added that some people are unable to afford camping facilities to camp outside the hospitals.
“Is there hope for the future? The Labour pains are the worst pain a women can experience, its life or death moment. If the Maternity Waiting Homes can be built as soon as possible especially in the village areas allot off life’s will be in good care, Child Mortality rate might be at its lowest grade after the Maternity Waiting Homes are built.