Faith was an aspiring young woman with visions and hopes of what she intends to make out of life, like me. We both have similar background of being sponsored through school by the selfless efforts of our relations. The only perceived difference between us is that while she remained in Nigeria with her husband, Providence availed me the opportunity to travel overseas.
I was only a few months pregnant for my first child when we relocated to South Africa. There, the government has a universal free health care for pregnant women, from conception to delivery and afterwards. The only criteria for assessing the services is being a (legal) resident.
The facilities were relatively sound when compared to Finland where I had my second child.
Still, it ranks higher than the private hospitals in Nigeria, not to mention the state owned clinics which are in a deplorable condition with very little facilities in place.
It’s been a dead trap for many aspiring mothers; countless dreams and skills have been truncated at these places yet, the government seem less concerned. Families who do not have access to a private health care are left to their fate and a successful delivery is only by chance or miraculous.
While no one can take away the pains associated with childbirth, much can be done at the hospitals to alleviate the pains. Sometimes, it’s obvious that a woman is unable to have a normal delivery and an operation seems the only option. Still, the personnel in charge will insist that the baby be pushed, at her own detriment and because there are insufficient equipments to carry out a surgery. The consequences are better imagined; some die while ‘pushing’, others give up soon afterwards from an excessive loss of blood or other avoidable complications. Some other women end up with other terrible deformities for the rest of their lives.
‘Am sorry, we lost her’.
Yet, another preventable death!
For instance, I have a relative who is unable to move around freely because of the offensive odour emanating from her private part. It began after the birth of her second child and no tangible solution has been proffered ever since. Instead, her husband married a second wife and left her in the village.
Isn’t it pathetic?
Recently, I have received sad news of women who die at child birth, close and distant relatives alike.
(To be continued)