PREGNANT women on Koro Island have to travel to Suva to deliver their babies because there is no health facility available on the island.
This was disclosed to Constitution Commission member Taufa Vakatale during a private meeting called by the women of Koro Island on Tuesday night.
The women requested to meet privately with Ms Vakatale to talk about issues that may otherwise be considered taboo in public.
Representing the women of Koro, Vaciseva Ligatabu told the commissioner that if women were pregnant, they must have the money to travel to Suva to deliver.
Making this disclosure, Mrs Ligatabua told Ms Vakatale that the Ministry of Health officials had advised the women that they could not deliver babies on the island.
“We have been told to make our own arrangements to travel to Suva so we can deliver our baby, which means that we need $100 and more in our pocket to pay for the boat fare and have extra money to arrange for our accommodation,” Mrs Ligatabua said.
“Most women have to leave the island when they are only six months pregnant and many times, we don’t have the money which is so unfair,” she said.
The Mudu Village women stressed to Ms Vakatale that the new constitution should have adequate provisions to ensure health care systems improved, particularly on the islands.
Ms Vakatele said she was overwhelmed to meet the group of women and when they spoke freely on the issues affecting their lives.
She however, expressed concerns that those women did not make a formal submission to the commission but preferred to just have a chat with her in private.
“The issues they raised were everyday issues affecting their lives and the fact about pregnant women travelling to Suva to deliver their babies needed attention,” Ms Vakatale said.
She said women also shared their views on teenage pregnancy.
This, she said was a major social problem on the island that needed to be addressed immediately.