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How pregnant women with dwarfism face harrassment by health care providers

Some women with short stature disability in Rwanda, say that when they are harrassed by midwives and nurses when they are pregnant who use hurtful language.
This result in a variety of consequences including trauma that can lead to sexual refusal.
The issue was raised at a meeting organized by the Rwanda Union of Little People (RULP) on December 12, 2020, which was aimed at addressing the challenges women face in accessing information on reproductive health and what can be done to address these barriers.
“One day when I was about to give birth; at the hospital midwives asked me who dared to impregnate such a little woman. They called each other to come and see ‘igikuri’ into labor.”  Someone revealed.
Umuyobozi wungirije wa RULP, Manass Nganira
RULP Deputy Director, Manasseh Nganira said that apart from this harassment, women with short stature  are subjected to sexual violence and became pregnant due to lack of information on reproductive health.
Medical infrastructure has also been criticized as a barrier to little women.
For example beds used during pregnancy diagnosis or childbirth time  are not suitable for women with such a disability.
RULP staff member Tuyishimire Honorine said: “These beds are not suitable for women with disabilities to give birth because they are very painful for them. We urge the relevant authorities to ensure that little women are able to get medical services without any difficulty”, she said.
“As far as beds are concerned, we will continue to advocate for them”, Mukaruziga Chantal,in charge of nurses and midwives at Kibagabaga Hospital, pledges.
“I’m not sure about the harrassment they are saying, what I emphasize is that every patient should be well received and provided with appropriate services whether he or she has a disability or not” she adds.
Umukozi uhoraho muri RULP, Tuyishimire Honorine
Regarding the lack of access to information on reproductive health, Sylvie Nyirabugenimana, the Communications Officer at the National Council for Persons with Disabilities, said that people with short stature are just like everyone else, they should be provided with information on reproductive health and facilitated whenever they need medical services.

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