Web 2.0; The Courage to Speak Up!
On June 8, 2011, Olujuwura, a friend and brilliant architect died at childbirth. Doctors had in the process of a caesarean operation erroneously cut off her right fallopian tube, her artery and had transfused her with the wrong blood type. Olujuwura died giving life. She bled to death.
Her death confirmed to me my thoughts for years. Medical negligence must have some kind of impact on maternal mortality. Medical personnel must be skilled and accountable; hospitals must be responsible for every life.
The silence that follows maternal death in Nigeria is not unusual. Victim’s relatives are usually persuaded to accept fate, religious colourations are introduced and with time, the death is forgotten...
Upset by the news of her death, I updated my Facebook and Blackberry status to depict my anger at the shabby medical treatment she received. A newspaper editor was on my contact list. She requested to speak with my friend’s family and eventually did a six page interview on medical negligence in Nigeria and its impact on maternal mortality rates. Readers’ feedback was awesome!
Let’s have the same situation without Web 2.0.
I will probably have grieved alone; the editor would have dedicated the six pages covered by the interview to something else. Few people would have heard about medical negligence and its impact on maternal mortality, a lesser number would have learnt from it and I probably would never have had the courage to stand in front of the editor to request for an interview on behalf of my friend’s family. Even if I was able to summon up the courage, the editor would probably have been too busy to see me. Web 2.0 pierces your thought through the minds of people who ordinarily would not care!
One important solution Web 2.0 brings to global women’s empowerment movement is that it serves an opportunity to meet and team up with other women of like minds. This year August, another death due to medical negligence during childbirth was reported. The victim fell off the operating table in the course of a caesarean operation. Having been aware of my campaign against maternal mortality on Facebook and twitter, a young female doctor at the hospital where this new death occurred contacted me. Today, we are working together to fight maternal mortality in rural areas, arranging a self assessment and improvement skill test for midwives and providing a justice support system for victims of maternal death. Although we are in different states, Web 2.0 provides us with the meeting point we require.
Web 2.0 gives me the power to identify the ills in the society, fuels my passion for change, urges me to make a difference and offers me the platform to create bonds with like minds in other to save other women and move the community forward.
Web 2.0 gives me the power to punch issues of life without making a fist. All I need is a laptop and my fingers lying straight and tall!