Expectant mothers at a health centre in central Zambia are refusing to have their babies delivered by a male nurse – leading to fears they may start taking matters into their own hands.
The privately owned Daily Nation newspaper reports the mothers at Kalwa Health Centre, in the farming-rich town of Mkushi town, feel uncomfortable with their babies being delivered by a person of the opposite sex.
Some mothers said they considered it a taboo and against traditional practice for their babies to be delivered by a male nurse and not a female one.
A health official has urged the government to immediately address the issue before mothers resort to delivering their babies from home.
“The situation is not good,” Happison Kapengwehe, Kalwa Health Centre neighbourhood health committee chairperson, warned.
Zambia’s health facilities and personnel are often inadequate, with a rise in a population in areas far from the capital, Lusaka, being the most affected.
The BBC tried to contact the country’s health minister, Dr Chitalu Chilufya, but he could not be reached as he is currently in Geneva, Switzerland, attending a conference.