The third grading card from the community, for health protection during pregnancy among Roma in this municipality done by H.E.R.A shows that the health rights of these women aren’t respected
Third year in a row, in the Shuto Orizari Municipality a monitoring – initiative is being implemented for the health protection during pregnancy, through which the community itself follows the implementation of the rights guaranteed by laws and bylaws regarding the reproductive health.
As part of this initiative, the Third Grading Card from the Community was created at the end of 2014, which aims to determine the quality and the access to health services during pregnancy and in the period after giving birth, among the Roma women that live in Shuto Orizari. The research is done by the Roma women from Shuto Orizari, with the technical assistance of the associations H.E.R.A – Association for health education and research, RRC – Roma Resource Centre and Umbrella.
These are the key findings of the card, which alarmingly show some quite negative trends and lacking in the services for health protection during pregnancy for the Roma women in Shuto Orizari:
Despite the fact that the Programme of the Ministry of health for active protection of mothers and children for 2014 envisages that every Roma women – new mother will have at least two visits from a patronage nurse, the research showed that only 15% of the pregnant Roma women in Shuto Orizari were visited by patronage nurse during their pregnancy.
With the same preventive Programme of the Ministry of health, 1.500 Roma women were supposed to get free micro-biological tests two times during the pregnancy, the research showed that not a single women received this service during the pregnancy.
Although the existing legislation predicts every pregnant woman to receive fully free services at the personal gynecologists, the Roma women gave red light regarding the charges during pregnancy. The field research showed that 41% of the Roma women from Shuto Orizari paid between 150 and 500 denars, while 36% paid 500-800 denars for every checkup at their personal gynecologists during pregnancy.
The preventive programme from the Ministry also predicted that a new gynecological office will be established for the women in Shuto Orizari since January 2014, but since July 2014 office was indeed open, without a personal gynecologist. In this office, the Roma women can get a free counseling, ultrasound and vaginal exam, but they can’t get microbiological tests, nor PAP test, nor they can get any prescription for medications or for further laboratory tests or hospital treatments. That practically means that the women from Shuto Orizari still don’t have access to services for pregnancy monitoring, as well as the option to get a prescription for labor in hospital.