Pregnant women are facing extra challenges in the Solomon Islands as they are being asked to bring their own supplies when they go to the main hospital to give birth.
Women who check in at the country’s main hospital in Honiara also need to worry about bringing their own gauze, bedsheets and latex gloves adding to the already burdensome process of giving birth.
The new policy could be due to the hospital’s lack of resources, since as it is patients have been forced to lie on the floor in corridors due to lack of beds. Doctors have also resorted to administering expired drugs.
It is not clear if the new policy of asking pregnant women to bring their own supplies when giving birth at the hospital has been properly communicated to potential patients. A heavily pregnant woman told the local media that she was shocked when she was told that she needed to buy her own maternity supplies before giving birth.
It is not clear, however, whether pregnant women who could not comply with the said policy or who simply cannot afford to buy their own stuff are still being accommodated at the hospital, or they are being turned away.
Local media say sources at the hospital confirmed that they have really been asking women to bring their own supplies before giving birth. They said that there were serious supplies shortages in other parts of the hospital.
Hospital executives last month blamed a change in procurement practices for the woes. They promised the issues would be resolved soon.
Meanwhile, indigent pregnant women had to grapple with the double burden of the natural challenges of giving birth and worrying about buying supplies stuff, too, when such used to be free before.