WOMEN and young girls in Zimbabwe have demanded improved quality of maternal and reproductive health in the country’s hospitals and clinics.
The campaign was carried out by White Ribbon Alliance Zimbabwe (WRA) with the support of the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
A total of 330 responses were collected through White Ribbon Alliance Zimbabwe’s partnership with the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services.
From the responses collected, 249 were from female inmates and 81 came from female officers.
Speaking on the findings, WRA national coordinator, Geraldine Nyaku, said women and girls are also demanding courteous and friendly health staff that will offer them dignified non-discriminatory care.
“Women and girls from 12 districts, namely Bulawayo, Bindura, Chitungwiza, Chegutu, Goromonzi, Harare, Kariba, Marondera, Masvingo, Norton, Ruwa, Shurugwi and Zvimba participated, and from this campaign 25 888 maternal and reproductive health demands came out,” she said.
“These are demands for better quality health services as expressed by the various women, the bulk of which were from marginalised areas.
“It is expected that the results of the campaign will influence changes in health policies, programmes and practices at the national and community levels to reflect the self-articulated needs of the women in Zimbabwe.”
Nyaku said some of the demands that came out of the campaign include the free provision of sanitary towels and pads, availability and easy accessibility of modern day family planning methods, accessibility of cervical cancer screenings and treatment.
“Women, particularly those in rural areas, highlighted that they walk long distances in order to access health services,” she said.
“They also noted that the provision of health services was badly affected during the Covid-19 era due to the introduction of lockdown measures which impacted negatively on the accessibility of maternity services such as antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care service.”