Saturday, 20 July 2013

Life-givers Still Giving In to Death

Life-givers giving in to death in the process of giving life.
You ever wondered at the irony of this?

Some months back, someone very close to me lost his young wife immediately after childbirth. She never even got to meet the precious life she had so longed and prepared for.

This was a young woman who was healthy throughout the pregnancy period up till the moment she entered the delivery room, a woman who never suffered from as much as headache throughout and a woman who never missed ante-natal appointments, not even once!

Painful more was the fact that she was a christian together with her husband. When I say a christian, I mean a 'child of God', more than a churchgoer.
That was too close to home and I took the loss personal. Circumstances scream mismanagement and legal action would have been instituted against the hospital if it were in developed countries.

Oh, well. God knows best, I concluded.

And then, two weeks ago I was doing grocery shopping on the street and I got talking with the grocer who I had not seen in like 6months only to learn that she just suffered the loss of her young daughter less than 2 months ago. I knew this young girl too and had previously interacted with her.

She died during childbirth.

To crown it all, last week I read about the sad demise of the young CEO of Ewar. She also lost her life in the process of giving life.

The first and third sad incidences occurred in General Hospitals, reputed to have highly trained 'specialists' while the second case was managed in a 'mission house'.

Mission houses are religious centers with one or two attendants who aid deliveries. Whether these attendants are trained in vocations other than praying is not certain.
Cause of death in the first two sad cases: Postpartum Hemorrhage.
Oh how I hate that word and the irredeemable havoc it is wreaking amidst women today.

PPH or post partum hemorrhage is simply excessive / profuse discharge of blood from ruptured blood vessels during childbirth. It is considered the most common cause of death during childbirth, even in developing countries.

Research shows that approximately 800 women lose their lives daily from pregnancy and childbirth related conditions. What, 800 dying daily in the course of giving birth?
God help us all.

So, what exactly is responsible for this worryingly high rate and what could be done to reduce it?
In Nigeria, one in 13 women reportedly die from childbirth; this is one of the highest in the world. Obvious reasons could be attributed to poverty, blind faith, poor infrastructure, mismanagement, ignorance and a dysfunctional healthcare system which have all continued to ensure maternal mortality statistics remain consistently high.

A report advocates ensuring women giving birth in health facilities with a midwife present being the best strategy to reduce maternal mortality.

But I think about my friend's wife and that seemed to be of no help in her case. Maybe shes an exception but how long will life givers keep succumbing to the cold grips of the grim reaper?
Women who attend antenatal care at government hospitals still die from preventable causes and obvious mismanagement by some of the 'highly trained specialists'. I had a discussion with hubby who is in the profession by the way and he seems to think that 'mismanagement' may not be unconnected with the first sad incidence. It is understood that some of these hospitals' resources are stretched thin with inadequate equipments while many are underutilized.  Very sad.

Also more saddening is the fact that some women, especially the uneducated still ignorantly prefer to be delivered at mission houses or by TBAs (Traditional Birth Assistants). These TBAs have little or no education and they end up endangering the lives of mothers and babies. These has contributed significantly to maternal deaths in my own opinion because some of these assistants are not trained to manage high risk cases, they do not possess the necessary tools to aid deliveries. Oftentimes, they take on high risk cases and by the time they run out of ideas, they end up referring to the hospitals, which is sometimes too late.
As a preventive measure, I really wish the universal coverage through the NHIS scheme could be made mandatory and made to reach the remote or rural areas so every woman could be given the chance to enjoy the fruits of her labour. No pun intended.
I also wish the use of TBAs and mission houses could be banned. Yes, banned totally so every woman would be constrained to seek medical help appropriately even though things do go awry at the hospitals too but the chances of survival are higher.

Ok, maybe its asking for too much asking for a total ban, maybe they can actually be compelled to start registering with 'real' medical centres and maybe they can also be trained regularly and educated properly on best practices while ensuring they understand their limits / boundaries and stop managing high risk cases.
Maybe imposing heavy sanctions in the event of non-compliance would go a long way in ensuring they abide by the rules and regulations.

Now this is a tall one, given the peculiar greedy nature of our leaders in this country, I really wish above all else that all health care centers in the country are functional and fully equipped with highly motivated staffs who would be committed to ensuring the best service delivery for their patients.

Maybe I'm running ahead of myself here...I don't know...and I really wonder even as I type this whether all written above could be effected in this country but one can only hope.

I strongly believe the fight against high maternal mortality is one we all must join hands to win. If the government isn't working to help as expected, then we can as well take our fates..and that of our neighbours in our hands. We must take it upon ourselves to educate and help those who are less inclined or ignorant; and if need be, put our money where our mouths are.

Who knows, you may end up saving a life or two or three. And what greater satisfaction or fulfilment is there knowing that you have helped significantly in reducing this ugly statistic, one life at a time.

I say it is not enough to wish or hope or write but all hand must be on deck to reduce, if not totally eradicate this.

Let's all take it upon ourselves to be our sisters' keepers, no woman deserves to lose her life while trying to give life.



Just read this article this morning on maternal mortality, you may want to check it out here



At 21/07/2013, 05:40 , Blogger Stephanie said...

Oh this made me very sad! I appreciate you sharing this, but my heart aches for these women and those that have lost loved ones. I would love to help if there is anything I can do.

Love and hugs!

At 21/07/2013, 07:33 , Blogger Unknown said...

Very sad indeed.

More disheartening is the fact that over here, more and more women choose the home-birth (mostly unassisted) option due to poverty and inability to access healthcare.

Poverty, I may not be able to do anything about but I will sure do all in my capacity to help if ever I come across any pregnant woman in need of help or healthcare. I may be wrong but I believe getting every pregnant woman to the hospital would help in reducing the statistics, one life at a time.

Thank you, Stephanie.

At 21/07/2013, 21:00 , Blogger Toinlicious said...

I lost my very close friend last year to childbirth as well. I wrote about it here:
I still don't have the liver to call her mom. Childbirth is supposed to be one of the most beautiful experience a woman goes through but this country has made it the scariest. The Yoruba phrase: E ku EWU omo now makes a lot of sense. It is a serious EWU

At 23/07/2013, 08:49 , Blogger sykik said...

I got shivers down my spine reading imagine Nigeria has the highest mortality rate in the world....what are the female senators and House of Representatives members doing?

We pray about everything yet we don't lift a finger or use our God given talents to make our country a better is well..

Thank you for putting the word have taken a step...we will join in spreading the message.

At 24/07/2013, 04:07 , Blogger Unknown said...

Really sorry about your loss, hope her daughter is doing great. It's a serious 'ewu' now o, very scary. God help us all.

At 24/07/2013, 04:18 , Blogger Unknown said...

All our lawmakers have too much on their plates to bother with trivial issues like this o. Who would come up with the correct 'sharing formula' or mobilize for the support of sneaky clauses or have time for karate / agbero lessons in readiness for the next free-for-all combat if they waste their precious time on issues like this.

It really is well.

Thanks jare and please help spread the message.It's very crucial and you might be saving a life or two.

At 27/07/2013, 11:48 , Blogger Delvalina said...

I am sorry about this, and so sad.
but as you said God knows the best. I wish I could do something, well praying for those who are in this boat.

Thank you for visiting my blog, You have such a beautiful name :)

I am following you now, and would you like to following me back. I am making giveaway and I should reach 15o follower on blog or 50 on bloglovin :)

Blessing to you.

At 27/07/2013, 14:10 , Blogger The AnnMarie John said...

Its sad when a mom loses her life through childbirth and just as sad when she loses her child as well. The stats seems to be pretty high in Nigeria. Saying prayers for the women of Nigeria.

At 29/07/2013, 04:39 , Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for your kind comment, Delvalina and your name sounds beautiful too (not sure my pronunciation is right though)

Have a really blessed week.

At 29/07/2013, 04:44 , Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for visiting, Growing Up Madison.

Really sad indeed when a mother loses her life while giving life, more disturbing is the fact that most of these are preventable.

Thanks for your prayers too, we definitely need it.


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