The Minister for Inner City and Zongo Development, Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface has revealed that many Muslim women shy away from going to the hospitals because of the male doctors that attend to them.
He most of the Muslim women refuse to seek medical attention when they fall sick because of fear of being touched by male doctors at the health facilities.
The Minister said, his research has revealed that many of these women, particularly those pregnant have resorted to self-medication or visit the traditional birth attendants when it’s time for delivery.
The Minister made this revelation when he interacted with the Muslim community in the Ashaiman Municipality of the Greater Accra Region as part of the Ministry’s stakeholders’ consultative meeting to solicit views from Zongo communities for the Zongo Development fund bill.
He said the Ministry has carefully observed this worrying trend among the women, particularly those that are married.
He explained that, as part of the tenets of Islam it is only a husband that is supposed to see the body of married women so these women find it difficult to expose parts of their bodies for medical examinations at the hospital.
He noted that the situation is alarming in recent times because many of the male doctors are young men who are in their early thirties so many of the women find it very difficult to appear before them.
He disclosed that it is in view of this that the Ministry is collaboration with the Health Ministry is working to establish community clinics in the Zongos to attend to health needs of these women.
He said the community clinics, if established will be handled by young female nurses and female doctors who are conversant with the women to enable them attend to them.
The establishment of the Zongo clinic, he said also forms part of the mandate of the Ministry in the areas of health, cultural promotion, security and poverty eradication, infrastructural provision, sanitation among others.
He maintained that aside the provision of clinics, the Ministry in collaboration with the Education Ministry will build secondary schools in all Zongo communities across the country to ensure smooth transition from the basic level to the secondary level.
According to him, the lack of secondary schools in many of these areas have been the bane of many of the young people dropping out of school after the basic level.
‘Many of the pupils in these areas are forced to terminate their education at the basic level because of the lack of secondary schools in the Zongo communities,’ he said.
Alhaji Abubakar Boniface assured the leadership of Zongos that the Ministry is working assiduously with other sister Ministries to have some these situations pertaining in these communities remedied.
He noted that, the Zongo Ministry will not relent on these pledges to the Zongo communities in accordance with the president Nana Akufo-Addo’s vision to see the Zongos develop.
According to him, the president has a vision to uplift the image of the deprived communities in the country and ready to integrate those that have been left out into his government to achieve his dream of improving the living standard of all Ghanaians.
On his part, Alhaji Ahmed, Ashaiman Imam, representing the Alusuna Muslim group appealed to the Minister to as a matter of urgency do something about the situation of male doctors attending to their women when they visit the hospitals across the country.
According to him, it is not only in the Zongo areas but across the country adding that the Muslim clerics are worried about the situation.
He said now that they have a Zongo Ministry, they know where to channel their complaint about the current happenings at the various hospitals across the country to.
“We want a hospital that will have women as doctors to treat our women when they fall sick,” he stressed.
The Municipal Chief Executive of the Ashaiman Municipal Assembly, Albert Okyere reminded the Minister that the Ashaiman area fall in two categories of the mandate of the Ministry.
He said the municipality is an inner city and the same time a Zongo area so the Minister should consider starting some of his flagship programmes in the municipality because Ashaiman deserves to benefit from the programmes of the Ministry.