there is the decision of the family to take the woman to where she will get some help.
The decision rests on the whole family and the man is the head of the family in most societies. And then husbands and fathers-in-law have to decide that this woman should be taken to the hospital. And that decision, Mr. Speaker, sometimes takes so long that the labouring woman will have to suffer. At the end of the day when the family has decided that the woman should be taken to the hospital, when they get to the hospital, there would be too much delay and the woman would die at the hospital.
Mr. Speaker, we urge fathers-in-law and husbands to take note that if they delay in deciding to take the women to where they will get the necessary help, the cost is very dear to the women, and we lose a lot of lives through that.
There is also the delay in reaching the healthcare, when a decision has been taken. Most of our drivers are men. Mr. Speaker, when a woman in labour is standing by the road side, some drivers refuse to pick her saying that she will stain the vehicle; when they die in their vehicles, they will have to pacify the gods and all that. Mr. Speaker, men should be educated to know that if they do not pick women in labour, if they refuse to do so most women's lives would be lost through that mistake on their part.
Mr. Speaker, when they get to the healthcare centre after going through all these delays, there is the need to pay these deposits -- “bring this, bring money, go and buy drugs”. The men sometimes would be running around.
Mr. Speaker, I want to say that men can help here if they are able to put aside some money for this situation; they know their
wives will be in labour. But Mr. Speaker, they spend the money unnecessarily; sometimes some of them take second wives and all that and then they will not save some money. So if they say “men as partners in maternal care”, Mr. Speaker, this is very appropriate. This is because they know they cannot even look after one wife, but Mr. Speaker, they will take two, three, four -- and it is a whole lot of problem. So Mr. Speaker, men should be advised.
Mr. Speaker, when a pregnant woman has to go to the antenatal clinic, she needs money. Sometimes they even do not have money for taxi. They do not even remember because pregnancy is such that they are in a different world altogether. Their husbands should always be by their side; advise them and ask them, “What did the doctor say?” Comfort them, at least. Tell them sweet words. This is because pregnancy, Mr. Speaker, is something that is very serious and we need the comfort.
It is not only when you need us that you support us, but when women are pregnant their men should be by their side and make sure that they give them all the necessary help -- psychological -- all the attention that they need to bear their children for them.
Mr. Speaker, I also want to say that
just as I said at the beginning, if men will collaborate with women in this business of making babies, I think that women are not going to die in their numbers as they are now. Sometimes, at the hospital, you will find women with babies who have been detained for one month, two months; where are their husbands? They are nowhere to be found.
So Mr. Speaker, if -- [Interruption] -- Yes, we know that now there is the National Health Insurance Scheme.
Sometimes, they need money to register; the men are not there to help them. But they have the money, they have the resources. Most of them are more enlightened than their wives.
So we are urging all men to understand that they are partners in preventing maternal deaths. They should go on. We encourage them. Some of them are very good. We want all men to know and to help their wives, comfort them so that this business of baby making does not fall on only the vehicle, which is the woman. Let the men help.