SIX NIGERIAN MOTHERS DIE EVERY HOUR
If I were to count on fingers the number of women (known to me) who died through delivery or preventable circumstances, within few minutes, I will need to borrow your fingers. This subject is initiated by a recent news release in Nigeria that UNICEF revealed that six Nigerian mothers die every hour, the news though alarming and not believed but I am of the opinion that it is not strange to Nigerians we are in the denial stage, actually life expectancy of a Nigerian woman is less than 46 years!
The highest number will be from childbirth, this is my close encounter with death, I had my first child at the age of thirty, you will wonder why that, after leaving the secondary school I had to wait at home for five years in order to secure admission, in Nigeria, it is who you know and not what you know that cuts across every sphere of life. This is the experience of the Nigerian masses, not peculiar to me, rich parents send their wards abroad, poor parents wait for Godot so our years are wasted on waiting, especially when you are keen on getting the best education available among the least in the World.
The ante natal ward of one of the best General Hospitals in Nigeria open to women at eight o clock in the morning, (It is the general opinion in Nigeria that these are the best equipped; manpower and equipment) I had to wake up by 4.30 am to prepare and pick my number before 5.30am in order to fall between numbers 20 to 30.
On the day of delivery, there was no space, I slept on a bench, when it was the next day, no space still, I have forgotten the pain but waiting for God to just drag the baby out by all means. (Some patients suffering from major sicknesses wait for up to 12 months to be operated upon, these are major life threatening sicknesses, you will have to pick number, some die in waiting)
In the evening the baby was trying to pop up her head and the nurses warned me that I must not push since there are other women who came before me and are yet to be delivered of their babies. My baby refused to accept what nurses said, and as she tries to come out I prayed that she should hold on again, no bed I had to sit though all this period, I was not weeping but my husband was. Suddenly this child defied the law of the nurses, I screamed and they ran to support me, the shoulder could not pass through the channel and episiotomy saved the day.
The nurse chastised me, why did you push, we told you not to push, no space for you yet, you are a witch, congratulations for killing your child. The baby came out lifeless after 48 hours, no fluid, nothing how can she survive, they tried to resuscitate her but all efforts failed and she was wrapped in my scarf, handed to my husband to be buried, I cried it was so strange my friends.
As my husband was stepping out with the child, a very young Doctor came in Olutosin, congrats, I told him the child died, He castigated the nurses, how dare you gave her the dead body like that, her first child that is too bad and since yesterday!, they explained to him, he asked if I had an equivalent of one pound (UK), I answered in the affirmative and my husband gave him, he said, if the child has a chance he will try his best to save.
He gave her injection and applied oxygen but in about 30 minutes but warned that the child will be sneezing for some time or so, but my husband brought the child alive. I slept off on a flat bench, only to be awoken several hours later by an elderly doctor, “who took this delivery”? He shouted, I cannot remember but knew they were shaking me rigorously. The nurses forgot to stitch the episiotomy, I had fit or so I was fainting intermittently.
My husband narrated later, the older doctor came to meet me in pool of blood and I was dying not sleeping, they did their best when I woke up my BP was 240 over 180, the child had jaundice and we were there for several days. Where jaundiced children were receiving treatment, there were no provision for bed for the mothers, we had to sit on wooden benches to feed these babies in turn, my tears were automatically glued to my face.
Two lives were saved by God, I was given a dead child and my life was at the verge of waving to the World. All though this period, I was just telling God, give me this chance I will never do it again, I am surprised I had another child later. This time in the hands of some Reverend Sisters, who actually did their best, at least no doctors, since then I vowed never to enter into a delivery room again.
Every minute our mothers bid the World farewell. Culturally, they are witches who replaced themselves with their babies, some even believed that these women are deaf; they ought not to give birth, while others say God gives our rulers take.
Friends all over the World, when you meet a pregnant Nigerian lady in your country, do not be hostile, show your perfect smile, she is avoiding untimely death. Republic of Ireland, I can understand what the nation is experiencing but you are saving our women, may God repay your kindness to Nigerian women. Our women can endure hardship.
State of pregnancy is mysterious, but I still believe that with human efforts God can still preserve lives, our leaders are involved in elimination by method, if not, what stops them from making lives better during ante and post natal period?, if their mothers did not deliver them, will it be possible for them to be stealing Nigeria’s money today ? After all good riddance to bad rubbish, that is what we say in their absence though.
I Love all mothers!
May your death stop in Nigeria!