Organisation calls for equal access to maternal care among female inmates


The International Alliance for Patients Organisations (IAPO) has called on government and other local stakeholders in the health sector to intensify efforts in ensuring equal access to quality maternal health services among female inmates.

Speaking in an interview, (IAOP)) country representative who is also founder for the Patients and Community Welfare Foundation(PAWEM) Ellos Lodzeni said it is sad to note that female inmates in the country continue to lack antenatal care a development which he said exposes them to high risks during child delivery.

“Most of our prisons do not offer maternal and postpartum health care service. There are no conducive sanitary facilities to pregnant women. The meals which are offered are also not nutritious enough for expectant mothers”, said Lodzeni.

Dr Phiri, Deputy Director of reproductive health cheering a woman who had just given birth at Chikwawa District Hospital

His remarks came on the sidelines of the country joining the international community in commemorating the World Patients Safety Day which falls on 17th September every year.

Officer in-charge for Chikwawa prison Superintendent Francis Kwapata shared Lodzeni’s remarks in a separate interview and he attributed the prison’s failure in the country to provide basic maternal care to female inmates to resource constraints.

However, reacting to the concerns, Deputy Director of reproductive health in the Ministry of health Dr. Gift Phiri said government is always committed in improving provision of maternal care services in the country’s prison.

He sighted remarkable progress registered in the reduction of maternal and neonatal mortality rate which is at 439 per every 100 000 live births unlike previously when the figure was about 687 per every 100 000 births as a sign of government’s commitment.

World patients Safety Day is commemorated to enhance global understanding on patients safety and increase public engagement on health care safety to reduce avoidable harm in health care provision.

Activities to mark commemorations of this year’s World Patients Safety Day were held on Friday 17th September in Chikwawa district under the theme “together for safe and respectful Maternal and newborn care.