By Thula Chisamba
In another shocking investigation, The Malawi Star has established that pregnant women are sharing a waiting room with men at Mzenga health center in Nkhata bay.
This is because there is no maternity wing at the facility.
During a visit on Friday, The Malawi Star discovered that pregnant women are not comfortable with the state of affairs at the health center, but unfortunately, they have no option except to continue sharing the room with men.
When we went to press, some men also confided that the situation is irksome, because in Malawi, it is a taboo for people of opposite sex to share one room let alone with pregnant women. A woman can go into labour anytime and according to our culture and tradition, men are not allowed to see what happens to a woman during this most difficult time. They demanded that something be done to rectify the situation.
James Saka told our reporter that despite him being a patient, sharing a room with women becomes very uncomfortable, especially at night.
“We were created very different, thus it doesn’t really matter being a patient, it is not good to be sharing a room with these women because you don’t put a rat in a bag of groundnuts and expect everything to be fine.” confessed Saka.
Gertrude Banda, a pregnant woman, shared Saka’s sentiments citing the situation can be tempting mainly for men and it’s unethical.
She urged the authorities to consider reacting to the issue so that the situation may change for the better for both male and female patients at the facility.
“It’s bizarre and abnormal to be sharing this room with men because naturally, one feels sexually attracted to the opposite sex,” she testified.
However, a former legislator, for the constituency, David Kaweche unveiled that he had already funded the construction of the maternity wing at the facility.
He claimed that while in power, he bought about 300 bags of cement, 200 iron sheets and about 70 beds and the project was earmarked to commence the very year he was elected out of power so it never materialised.
“In fact, I already discussed the matter with authorities at the district council who promised me that they were equally ready to design the layout of the whole project,” said Kaweche.
On the contrary, Nkhata bay district commissioner, Alex Mdooko brushed aside such claims, citing he was not aware of the whole project.