‘Hamara Swasthya, Hamari Awaz’ Campaign: Women Thrive for Respect, Dignity in Maternal Healthcare

The more women speak about their needs and priorities, the easier it will become for program implementers and policy makers to address their needs

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Maternal Healthcare
Maternal Healthcare. Pixabay

July 27, 2017: White Ribbon Alliance India drove the nation-wide campaign ‘Hamara Swasthya, Hamari Awaz’ to understand the women’s want for improved maternal health in India. The idea of safe motherhood must be extended beyond to incorporate respect for women’s basic human rights including respect, dignity, choices, and preferences during maternity healthcare.

The survey was conducted across 24 states and Union Territories. Women have observed improvement in maternal health care with the passage of time and proposed a wish as to be treated in a respectful manner.

About 1,50,000 women were surveyed across the country and 23% women beseeched for dignity and respect in maternal healthcare.

Encouraging women to express their yearning towards a safe maternal healthcare, 32241 women i.e. 2 out of every 10 women desired for maternal health services assimilated with dignity and respect.

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18% out of the 23% women seeking dignity and respect requested for respectful behaviour from the healthcare provider and the remaining 11% looked for equality based on religion and caste.

11% asked privacy while 4% requested for confidentiality during check-up and treatment. 7% requested counselling and consent. 9% wished for timely admission and less waiting time for bed whereas 15% requested for one bed per woman in the ward.

7% also demanded provision for a birth attendant, whereas 5% asked for one stretcher per woman. 8% wished for fixed visiting hours and availability of visitor’s room to ensure privacy and the remaining 5% women emphasized no sexual harassment by doctor or staff.

Dr Aparajita Gogoi, National Coordinator, White Ribbon Alliance India said, “Our aim with Hamara Swashtya, Hamari Awaz was to amplify the voices of countless women to positively impact the quality of care.”

She further adds “We have been consistently undertaking programs to support the Government’s efforts to improve the quality of care and maternal healthcare. We have observed that attitudes and behaviour of maternal healthcare providers considerably influence service seeking behaviour of expecting mothers, which in turn impacts the maternal mortality.”

– Prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram. Twitter @Nainamishr94