Women from traditional authorities (T/As) Chimwala, Jalasi, Nankumba and Mponda in Mangochi have accused female nurses of abusing them when they go for treatment.
The communities say the most abused are pregnant women, especially during labour.
The women expressed the concerns on Monday when the Malawi Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRHR) Rights Alliance, held an awareness meeting to mobilise the youth to access sexual reproductive health services.
In an interview, one of the community members from Sanyira Village, T/A Mponda who spoke on condition of anonymity said male nurses treat them with dignity.
She said: “They call us all sorts of names. They even ridicule us by saying kumene munkapanga mimbayi ife tinaliko? (We were not there when you conceived, were we?)
“This compels us to seek the services of traditional birth attendants [TBAs] because they treat us with dignity.”
“I have three children. I was lucky with the first pregnancy because I met a male nurse.”
When contacted, Mangochi District Hospital spokesperson Harold Kabuluzi said his office has never received any complaint on patient’s abuse by female nurses.
He advised the women to report abuse to the district nursing officer or district health officer (DHO).
He said the DHO would investigate the women’s concerns.
Meanwhile, the alliance whose members include Centre for Alternatives for Victimed Women and Children and Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation, have pledged to meet health workers to address the challenge.
The project is funded by Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives (CLFI).