Friday, July 27, 2012

The untold story behing Uganda's maternal deaths court case

'' Hurry up. I think my water just broke'' cries out 24 year old Kiconco Joan.

In this mud and wattle house, with a leaking banana-fibre roof top, the husband summons a handful of neighbours to carry his wife on a bicycle 'ambulance'.

Nyabikungu village is 21 kilometres from the nearest health centre with no running commercial transport  on its murram road except for motor cycle taxis which Kiconco Joan's husband's 8,000 shillings(abou 4 US dollars) can't afford.

'' I think I am going to die. I am going to die'' Kiconco Joan cries out as she is lifted to the makeshift wooden improvisation on a old rickety bicycle.

'' The mid-wife is not here. I need some money to  call  her to come here on my mobile phone'' a nursing attendant belts out after the Kiconco-carrying party makes the 21 miles to Rwakishakyizi health centre IV.

After a long one hour filled with unbearable cries from a mother in an agonizingly prolonged labour, the mid wife arrives and in haste lays down Kiconco for a quick manual examination. With the aid of the nursing assistant, they pull out a motionless baby who promptly switches to wailing after a little prick on the cheek.

'' There seems to be a retained twin in her. She has twins. I cant out the remaining baby. You have to go to Mbarara town.'' Kiconco Joan has not been attending ante natal care and has relied on a village 'traditional birth attendant for the past three months.

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