The incidences of women complaining about lack of proper care during childbirth are numerous and these are not restricted only to the rural areas. They are rife in the urban areas as well.
A study published on Bio Med Central reported numerous challenges faced by women who went to various health centres to deliver their babies. Their husbands or family members also shared the challenges. The study also include the reasons, given by the health care workers, behind the complaint.
These are the most common challenges faced by women in health facilities in Kenya during childbirth. Some of these leave ugly psychological scars while others simply endanger the mother and baby.
1. Rude health workers
In some cases, health workers insult the mothers, reprimand them for asking for help and occasionally blame them for negative outcomes.
Younger mothers especially high school girls spoke of suffering verbal abuse from nurses due to the early age in which they are becoming mothers.
2. Ill-equipped health facilities
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Some health facilities lack basic equipment like beds, curtains for privacy and in some cases, food. Dirty bathrooms or a lack of water in the bathrooms made it impossible for the mothers to use them, not to mention unhygienic.
There are incidences where the next of kin has to transfer the patient because there are either no trained healthcare providers or the time they will take to come is too long putting the mother and baby’s life in danger.
Mothers in the throes of childbirth, especially those who are having their third baby, are left on their own with the health workers claiming that they were experienced in the process and so they could manage on their own.
In some facilities, mothers are left on their own all together with the healthcare providers saying that they are still too far from birthing the baby. In some instances, mothers end up delivering on their own.
4. Inadequate communication
Most mothers, particularly first-time mums who might not understand what is happening, lack sufficient information about the process. The health workers sometimes proceed to carry out examinations or perform minor procedures like episiotomies without ensuring that the patient understands what is going on.
5. Lack of privacy
In some health facilities, it’s not uncommon to find patients sharing a bed and this holds true for the maternity ward.
Patients also complained of having to give personal information within earshot of other patients or not having privacy when they needed to change or have an examination.