Sister Margaret Atimaku, the head of reproductive health in the district says that several men look at escorting their expectant wives for antenatal care services as a waste of time.
Only a handful of men in Moyo district accompany their expectant wives to health units for antenal care services. Information obtained from the district health office shows that only 3 out of every ten mothers who go for antenatal care services are accompanied by their partners. Sister Margaret Atimaku, the head of reproductive health in the district says that several men look at escorting their expectant wives for antenal care services as a waste of time. Atimaku says that as a result, they miss out on vital tips that would help them to bring up health children.
She explains that during antenatal visits couples are given tips on reproductive health and sensitized on the Prevention of Mother to Child HIV/ Aids transmission. Atimaku appeals to men in the district not to shy away from escorting their wives for antenatal care services saying that, they will start turning away women who show up at the hospital without their partners in their near future. However, some men interviewed by our reporter blamed their failure to accompany their wives to health centers on the enormous responsibilities on their shoulders.
Humphrey Matua, a resident of Moyo Sub County says that he attends to home chores whenever his wife goes to hospital for antenatal care. Matua says that, despite the fact that is important to accompany their expectant wives to hospital for antenatal care services, men are responsible fending for their families on a daily basis. Samuel Obuni, a resident of Metu Sub County says he shies away from escorting his wife to hospital for fear of being subjected to HIV testing. He says when one goes for such services there is no privacy and yet such issues are meant to be confidential.
Some of the women also support their husbands. Betty Candiru, one of the mothers in Moyo town council says her husband has to fend for the family when she is attending antenatal care. She appeals to government to be considerate before taking decision such as requiring women to escort expectant mothers to the health centers. Government launched this policy to encourage men to accompany their expectant wives for antenatal cares so as to increase their participation in reproductive health issues affecting households.