The National, Thursday October 24th, 2013
By FAYE MIKA
CULTURE and norms in Papua New Guinea are the major impediments to the involvement of men in maternal and child health care, a health conference has been told.
A national conference hosted by the National Catholic Health and HIV Services in conjunction with the Burnet Institute was funded by Global Fund.
The two-day conference held in Port Moresby was attended by researchers, representatives from the Health Department, members of non-government organisations, churches and former kickboxing champion Stanley Nandex.
Burnet Institute’s Dr Stanley Luchters outlined the benefits of male involvement during pregnancy.
“We need to encourage men to get involved because they play a vital role in finance, family planning and birth spacing,” he said.
“Pregnancy is a life event for both man and woman and is very important for the husband to support the wife emotionally, psychologically and financially as these are the main areas that put stress on the woman.”
He said apart from the male involvement, antenatal care played a vital role in maternal and child health care.
He said many women did not go for antenatal check-ups because of the inaccessibility of health services, issues of confidentiality and nurses’ attitude.
He said if these barriers were addressed, the maternal and new-born death rates would decrease.