Rumphi East Member of Parliament (MP) Kamlepo Kalua (People’s Party-PP) has expressed concern that hospital patients in Rumphi were forced to be in mixed sex wards.
Kalua said in Parliament that at Chitimba and Jalawe rural hospital, men and women share the same wing “which is contrary to the principles of natural justice.”
He said Chitimba has no maternity wing just like Jalawe Health Centre.
Kalua asked Ministry of Health to have a separate maternity room and ensure same-sex wards for patients.
The Second Deputy Speaker Clement Chiwaya allowed the legislature and the Minister of Health Dr Peter Kumpalume in question and answer on the matter in the House, saying the matter “very sensitive”.
Lillian Patel the United Democratic Front (UDF) lawmaker for Mangochi South added her voice of concern for the indignity of men and women sharing a maternity ward, saying it is “a serious issue.”
Patel said: “If it was a general ward, I would not have a problem but this is a maternity ward. It needs to be attended to immediately because it is completely wrong to put men and women in the same ward. “
In his response, Minister of Health Kumpalume said: “I think the issue is that there is a room that is used as a general ward as well as a maternity ward. I do not think that it is a labour ward. All the same, I will send the ministry staff to look at the issue at hand and will advise the Honourable Member accordingly.”
He said, ideally, if resources were permitting, the ministry of health would have “everything for everyone. At the moment, we are not there yet. “
Kumpalume said Ministry of Health is aware that there are quite a number of facilities that do not have enough accessories including enough bed space and let alone the separation of men and women in the wards.
“I think the biggest problem at the moment is the availability of resources for the construction of those wings. What we do in the ministry is to look at the need for the area and where people access maternal services and if the distance is far then that area deserves that facility,” said Kumpalume.
“The second aspect we look at is the population of the area. Those are the policy guidelines.”
Speaking in an interview with Nyasa Times, Kamlepo said patients should not suffer the indignity of being cared for in mixed sex wards.
He said government should put an end to this practice countrywide.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :