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[WATCH] Maternal healthcare must be more inclusive for refugees, President says

President Marie Lousie Coleiro Preca has warned that the voices of refugee and migrant women are rarely heard during the design and implementation of policies that address their needs

tim_diacono
Tim Diacono
20 March 2017, 10:09am
The president has urged European authorities to sit around the table with refugee women as to design healthcare policies that are more inclusive to their individual needs
The president has urged European authorities to sit around the table with refugee women as to design healthcare policies that are more inclusive to their individual needs

Video is unavailable at this time.

President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca has urged European authorities to sit around the table with refugee women as to design healthcare policies that are more inclusive to their individual needs.


Addressing a conference organised by the Women Political Leaders Global Forum at the Verdala Palace, the President warned that the voices of refugee and migrant women are rarely heard during the design and implementation of policies that address their needs.

Moreover, she warned that refuge women are often faced with discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, race and poverty, as well as language barriers and insensitivity to their culture.

“It is imperative to create stronger synergies between the relevant stakeholders involved in the care of pregnant women and their infants and to value the voices of migrant and refugee women,” Coleiro Preca said.

“We must ensure that the safety and dignity of migrant and refugee women are at the heart of all policies, which tackle issues of maternal health. Our policies must reflect a united and unwavering commitment to universal human rights, which must be applied equally, and equitably, to all.

As an example of good practice in this regard, she hailed Malta’s Migrant Health Liaison Office in Primary Health Care for “nurturing cultural sensitivity between services providers and users.”

For example, focus groups conducted on Somali and Ethiopian women in Malta have explored the pressure that is placed by relatives on new mothers to permit female genital cutting upon their daughters at some stage during childhood.

“I hope that these efforts shall continue to bare fruit and be paralleled by equally strong development in other European countries and around the world,” she said. 

tim_diacono
Tim Diacono is a journalist at MaltaToday
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