Monday, October 1, 2012

Male involvement in ante-natal care equals healthy babies


Enedi Malambo, 38, is a mother of seven and is currently carrying another pregnancy due in three months.

During all the previous seven pregnancies, her husband has never accompanied her to the Ante-Natal Care (ANC) clinic. But the eighth one is exceptional in more ways than one.

“Since my first ante-natal appointment (during this pregnancy), my husband has been coming with me to the clinic. Before, he used to refuse,” says Enedi of Kembe area, some 70km off the Great North Road in Chibombo district.

She smiles and adds that “not once did he escort me to the clinic when I was pregnant with my other (seven) children. But now that nurses insist on pregnant women coming with their husbands, he had no choice but to come with me to the clinic.”

Enedi is happy over the involvement of her husband in her current pregnancy. She says it has given him extra insight into the intricacies of pregnancy care and as such they  are now able to communicate better about her health needs.

In the past men were not obliged to accompany their pregnant wives for ante-natal check-ups. Currently most public health institutions are asking men to be fully involved in the affairs of their expecting wives. 

Pregnant women and their husbands undergo couple HIV Counseling and Testing services. In the event of both or either of them being found HIV positive, the couple can then be counseled on how to manage the infection and ensure they protect themselves from re-infection.

Where both of them are HIV negative, they are still encouraged to discuss their status and ways of ensuring they remain free from HIV infection and other sexually transmitted infections. PYM


Anonymous said...

Very good to have the male involvement during a woman's pregnancy. It gives men a different perspective on what their wives are going through.
Congratulations Zambia on moving in this direction.

Martin said...

Getting involved is awesome. I have been involved in the pre, during and post pregnancy of my wife. It's a great thing to walk together with your partner. Health practitioners on the other hand need change of attitude towards males who accompany women for antenatal. In my experience some where awesome and would address you as to people or care to explain to you certain things. However, I had horrible experiences where O was completely ignored by some.