BY ALFRED PAGEPITU
WESTERN province needs to improve access to health and medical services for women and girls in the province, according to a report.
According to the Western Province Women’s Empowerment and Transformation policy report, the province had 95 percent health coverage until 2015 and then where on average, 28 percent of health facilities in the province were closed.
Limited number of trained health workers including specialised doctors, the number of health facilities needing repair, lack of necessary medical equipment, poor conditions of health workers houses, inadequate funding targeting health services has deprived women and men of the province access to basic health services.
Therefore, due to cultural norms and expectation including gender roles of women and men, women tend to have more concerns and face more barriers to accessing basic health services and even more so for women living in the rural areas.
Problems reported by women in accessing health facilities range from concern that there will be no female health workers about 60 percent of rural women compared to 51 percent of urban women.