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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

In Kono pregnant women call for waiting houses

By Mohamed Massaquoi from Kono

Over 20 pregnant women interviewed in various communities in the eastern district town of Kono have called on the government, alongside the Network Movement for Justice and Development (NMJD), to construct waiting homes for them, noting that they appreciate the support of NMJD in that direction but needed more facilities in the district.

This, according to them, will ensure proper caring during their pregnancies as a good number of pregnant women still deliver in their respective villages without going to the peripheral health units (PHUs) for safe delivery.

The women complained that because of the lack of transportation and other facilities in their communities, it is always difficult for them to travel at night from their villages to the PHUs to deliver thus calling on NMJD – who has been instrumental in sensitizing them about the free healthcare services – to construct waiting homes for them.

Martha Kargbo, a pregnant woman from Njagbwema Gorama-Kono, said NMJD officials have engaged them on several occasions on safe delivery, and that pregnant women should go to the PHUs regularly and must not deliver to traditional birth attendants (TBAs).

She however noted that it will be in the best interest of pregnant women if they are housed much closer to the health units so that they can give birth safely in the hands and supervision of trained medical practitioners.

“It is no secret that pregnant women from distant communities still deliver to traditional births attendants,” observed Madam Kargbo. “It is not our wish but sometimes you will experience the pain at night and considering the distance from your village to the PHU, you will prefer to deliver at home rather than going to the clinic. We want to call on government and other development partners like NMJD to provide such facility for us.”

According to the Community Animator for community monitoring for accountable health service delivery project at NMJD’s Kono branch, Alusine Koroma, they decided to implement the community initiative project in the various communities together with the community people in order to come up with an initiative to construct waiting houses with support from Christian Aid.

He said that they are also constructing staff quarters for the health personnel to stay at the PHUs, adding that NMJD has already provided the sum of Le1,500,000 (one million, five hundred thousand Leones) for 10 communities and that the villagers themselves raised funds and used their effort to go ahead with the projects.

A member of the Wordu Community Health Centre in Sandor Chiefdom, Sahr Kayima Manneh, said having received the training on the free healthcare and some funds from NMJD, they decided to use part of the performance based finance funds, complemented with some contribution from the community people, to construct a waiting home for pregnant women.

“We will not wait for government to come and do it for us, we will start it at community level,” he said, adding that they decided to build the waiting house as a way of reducing their struggles in the area of medical delivery.

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