Respectful Maternity Care: The Other ‘R’ Word in Maternity Service

Respectful maternity care (RMC) is a universal human right due to every childbearing woman in every health system. Skilled birth attendants such as midwives’ behaviours and attitudes are critical components that need to be more explicit in the Safe Motherhood Initiatives. Disrespect and abuse is an important but little understood component of poor care that women receive during childbirth perpetuated by health workers. Up to 19% to 28% of women experience disrespect and abuse from health- care providers during childbirth worldwide. This phenomenon although not new is an emerging health system crisis that requires urgent solutions to ensure women’s right to dignity in health care settings.  Little is known on whether or how lack of RMC could negatively impact low- and middle-income countries such as Jamaica’s ability to assist in the global effort to reduce maternal mortality. My programme of study will support WHO efforts to identify and eliminate disrespect and abuse experienced by women during childbirth in facilities worldwide.

Key words: Disrespect and abuse, respectful maternity care and 2030 agenda

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