10 Mar 2014

New born death in Vanuatu attributed to mistreatment of women

5:27 pm on 10 March 2014

The Vanuatu Women's Council says the death of a new-born baby is partly due to the systemic poor treatment of women there.

The child died shortly after being delivered on a truck, on its way to Norsup hospital from Tismam Island.

The deteriorating conditions of health services in rural areas of Vanuatu, as well as dilapidated roads, have been named as causes.

But the president of the women's council says the low status of women in rural Vanuatu means they don't receive enough support.

Blandine Boulekone says women are blamed too often and too quickly when things go wrong during pregnancy.

"Sometimes they deliver alone, they have no support at all. You know, it is very difficult. Sometimes some of them are very sick sometimes, they have problems with their pregnancy, and it is very hard for them. Where is the father? This the question we want to ask. Where is the father?"

Blandine Boulekone says people should learn the full story before judging women.