PhD defence Anna Galle (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences)



Respectful maternity care and the role of male partners in Mozambique: practices, obstacles and conceptualisation

PhD candidate: Galle, Anna

Supervisor: prof. Olivier Degomme, Vakgroep Volksgezondheid en Eerstelijnszorg – prof. Nafissa Osman, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane – prof. Kristien Roelens, Vakgroep Structuur en Herstel van de Mens


In Mozambiqueonly 55 percent of expectant mothers have at least four antenatal visits (=medical visits during pregnancy) and 70 percent of births are attended by skilled health personnel. By interviewing men, women and health providers I have examinedwhich role male partners can play to improve the health outcomes of mothersand which factors hamper respectful care during childbirth. In addition I have conducted a systematic review and Delphi study involving international experts for developing a framework regarding the involvement of men in maternal health. Results showed that both the provision of respectful careand the involvementof men seem to be hampered by privacy issues, limited training of health providersand a high workload. Some women reported they delivered side by side in an overcrowded room. Also pregnancy consultations are often done with several women simultaneously in one room, hampering the involvement of men. In addition there isa persistent gender inequality within society and the health system, negatively affecting how midwives are treated in the health system hierarchy, but also negatively affecting women’s role in the consultation when they are accompanied by a partner. Some women are afraid to talk openly to the health provider when they are accompanied by their partner. Involving the male partner in antenatal care without adapting the current provision of care works for a vast majority of women, mostly those in trustful relationships, but might be harmful for others. The promotion of gender-equitable relation-ships into every male involvement strategy is keyfor limiting negative side-effectsof male involvement. A broaderholistic scope, involving a multidimensional assessment in male involvement interventions, might give more sustainable results on maternal health and broader health outcomes in future programs. Men should be considered as equal partners that can be involved in different ways, beyond simply being present in antenatal care.



Date: Friday 3 September 2021, 17:30

Venue: Auditorium Oehoe - Campus Coupure, Coupure Links 653, 9000 Gent


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