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“I was ashamed to say what I had and how I felt…”

Chicuque Rural Hospital is a reference health facility for Maxixe District and the 2nd largest health facility in Inhambane Province, Mozambique. Since September 2017, community members were complaining about the lack of privacy in the health facility due to inadequate space for consultations.

Patients sit in the waiting area of a health center in Mozambique

According to the community, it was common for two providers to attend to patients in the same room simultaneously. This situation caused a number of patients to leave the health facility without receiving care to because they were afraid to talk about their own health in the presence of people who sometimes were from the same community.

“… Whenever I met someone in the room, I was ashamed to say what I had and how I felt … I had sores on my sexual organs but preferred to say instead that I felt headaches and go to another health center to be attended to… My health was steadily getting worse, and I spent a lot of money on transport.”

– Female patient, 37 years old, Chicuque Rural Hospital

The community and the health committee, with the support of Namati’s health advocate, met with the head of the triage department, who acknowledged the challenge but recommended that it be sent to the management of the health facility. Subsequently, the health advocate and committee members met with the director of Chicuque Rural Hospital, who promised to seek a solution.

Portrait of 48-year-old Maria Francisco, 48 years old, member of health committee of Mozambique

Maria Francisco, village health committee member

The management of the health facility identified an existing space that was not in use in order to provide privacy during patient consultations. The room was rehabilitated and equipped within one month. At the same time, efforts were made to sensitize providers on the importance of respecting privacy in order to ensure the community’s trust in the health system.

 

“When the Director said that we had another room for consultations it was a relief for us… because almost every day we were receiving complaints about privacy.”

Maria Francisco, 48 years old, member of healthcommittee, Chicuque Rural Hospital

 

 

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