Charge midwives’ awareness of and their role in promoting respectful maternity care at a tertiary health facility in Ghana: A qualitative study

Veronica Millicent DZOMEKU*, Adwoa Bemah Boamah MENSAH, Emmanuel Kweku NAKUA, Pascal AGBADI, Joshua OKYERE, Richard Gyan ABOAGYE, Peter DONKOR, Jody R. LORI

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


Evidence suggests that the implementation of respectful maternity care (RMC) interventions is one of the surest and most effective means of minimising mistreatment during intrapartum care services. However, to ensure the successful implementation of RMC interventions, maternity care providers would have to be aware of RMC, its relevance, and their role in promoting RMC. We explored the awareness and role of charge midwives in promoting RMC at a tertiary health facility in Ghana.

The study adopted an exploratory descriptive qualitative study design. We conducted nine interviews with charge midwives. All audio data were transcribed verbatim and exported to NVivo-12 for data management and analyses.

The study revealed that charge midwives are aware of RMC. Specifically, ward-in-charges perceived RMC as consisting of showing dignity, respect, and privacy, as well as providing women-centred care. Our findings showed that the roles of ward-in-charges included training midwives on RMC and leading by example, showing empathy and establishing friendly relationships with clients, receiving and addressing clients’ concerns, and monitoring and supervising midwives.

We conclude that charge midwives have an important role to play in promoting RMC, which transcends simply providing maternity care. Policymakers and healthcare managers should ensure that charge midwives receive adequate and regular training on RMC. This training should be comprehensive, covering aspects such as effective communication, privacy and confidentiality, informed consent, and women-centred care. The study also underscores a need for policymakers and health facility managers to prioritise the provision of resources and support for the implementation of RMC policies and guidelines in all healthcare facilities. This will ensure that healthcare providers have the necessary tools and resources to provide RMC to clients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0284326
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
Early online date15 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study was supported by a grant awarded by the National Institutes of Health through the Fogarty International Center under Award Number K43TW011022 to Veronica Millicent Dzomeku. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. The authors are grateful unto the midwives who participated in this study and shared their awareness of and their role in promoting respectful maternity care.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright: © 2023 Dzomeku et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


  • Pregnancy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Midwifery
  • Delivery, Obstetric
  • Respect
  • Ghana
  • Maternal Health Services
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Health Facilities
  • Attitude of Health Personnel


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