Promoting dignified care during childbirth
A 2011 survey conducted by the Council and partners documented the types and prevalence of disrespectful and abusive treatment women experience at hospitals and clinics in select districts around Kenya. The baseline survey found:
- Nearly one in five women were treated in a humiliating way or felt disrespected (18%);
- Nearly one in 10 felt their privacy was compromised (7.4%) or were ignored when they asked for pain relief (7.5%);
- Four percent of women reported receiving treatment they did not consent to, and 4 percent reported being physically abused;
- Sometimes, mothers who lacked funds to pay for treatment were detained with their infants and not allowed to leave the hospital.
The Population Council is working with community members, policymakers, and partners to define and evaluate solutions that will improve the care that women receive during labor and delivery. The Council seeks to ensure that women and families understand that mistreatment is neither normal nor acceptable; to train managers and supervisors to create a culture of excellence where respect for patients is the norm; and to help providers understand the importance of treating patients with dignity. The most effective solutions will be refined and expanded across the region.