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Possibilities, Not Challenges…

When maternal death occasioned by medical negligence occur, three categories of people with different perspectives are likely to emerge.

The first category is likely to see the death as ‘natural’, wrap it up for quick burial, mourn and move on with life. To this category of people, the concept of right is lost on them and destiny is emphasized.

Their slogan? “God knows best.”

The second category is aware of their rights but unwilling to take action. To them, any benefit attached to exercising their right is coming a tad late.

Their question? “Will my taking action bring her back to life?”

The third and final category of people knows their rights, are willing to take action but just don’t know how to go about it. If they are fortunate enough to know someone in the traditional media, their stories get blown up but like everything without passion and sales as a major consideration, the stories die a natural death. The relatives, disillusioned, reverts to category one’s slogan of “God knows best.”

Their consolation? “God will fight for us”

From the lack of knowledge about basic rights to the lack of courage to speak up in the face of overwhelming silence and the unavailability or ineffectiveness of grievance channels and procedures, challenges related to medical negligence have continued to ‘help’ maternal death rates remain on the increase in Nigeria. While identifying these challenges may seem easy, overcoming them has not come easy.

Teaching and advising individuals and relatives of victims about their rights, ensuring that individuals understand that the action of one can save thousands of lives and the setting up of an organization to provide justice support services for victims at no cost to them are some of the strategies I have employed to overcome these challenges. Last week, I was able to assist a victim’s family file a Five Billion Naira suit (about 32 Million dollars) against a negligent hospital. In cases like this, it’s not so much for the money but the deterrent capacity of the action. Health service providers must live up to their responsibilities!

On social media such as Facebook and Twitter, I use the stories of victims to drive home the reality of maternal deaths and make people understand that inaction is not an option.

On PulseWire, I see the opportunity to learn, motivate and voice out. For victims who do not know their rights, I learn innovative ways of teaching them and get support too. For instance, I have met Marissa who is working with me to create a theme for a drama competition amongst secondary school students to promote maternal rights and welfare. For those who will rather not take action, this platform gives me an opportunity to motivate them and for those who want to take action but do not know how, with PulseWire, I can voice out on their behalf.

All around me, in my fight against maternal mortality, I see possibilities, never challenges…

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Comments

Stella Paul's picture

SUch a powerful story

I was reading this and you know a series of images were moving before my eyes. That is the power of a good story, it helps one see the unseen.

I congratulate you on the lawsuit you filed. That a great step ahead in getting someone justice.Keep it up and my love will add to others'!

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

Adepeju's picture

:-)

Thank you Stella. I'm glad you like it...

usha kc's picture

dear Adepeju,, hats off to

dear Adepeju,, hats off to your work and your positive attitude! keep it up dear.

Adepeju's picture

Thank you Usha. I appreciate

Thank you Usha. I appreciate your comment.

fem4femmes's picture

Spectacular writing!!

This is amazing! It makes me so proud to call you friend. You have made so clear the reasons victim-families and victim-communities appear to do so little in the face of what is such a tragedy! I am so grateful that you are so passionate about this, and that you are able to inspire action among families affected by preventable maternal mortality!!

Much power to your voice & your work!!

marissa - (i've sent you a private message as well!)

"I am the flicker, flame, butterfly ablaze who wants to fly in search of mythical rainbows beyond the rain." ~ Ana Castillo

Adepeju's picture

Thank you Marissa, Remember

Thank you Marissa,

Remember you've been so helpful too :-) Your words, contributions and actions encourages me.

Sahro's picture

Very positive story. I think

Very positive story.

I think you are doing a great job over there! With an attitude and mindset like you can do anything!
Go gal!

WorldPulse Community Advisory Board Member
Globcal Ambassador at: https://www.facebook.com/301986015692/photos/a.10150304573125693.561701....
Founder

Adepeju's picture

Thank you Sahro. I'm trying

Thank you Sahro. I'm trying my best to see how the maternal death rates can be reduced and I'm glad you think I;m doing a great job.

Celine's picture

Good Work!

Good work dear sister.

I add my voice to yours to say poverty is the major reason for inaction and then 'who do you know?' syndrome in our society makes people loose hope in taking up cases. Pro bono activities are dieing down among the civil society organizations hence nobody wants to assist indigent persons get justice. I am happy good spirited people like you are here to fight for the voiceless, challenges not withstanding.
I say once again, keep up the good work.

Celine

Adepeju's picture

Thank you for your comment

Thank you for your comment Celine. I agree with you that probono activities are dying down here but we must understand that some people's hope and justice is tied to our taking action! It's not been easy but I know it is worth it.

mrbeckbeck's picture

Great job

This is a great piece, for so many reasons. You're a great storyteller, and I love your positivity!

I feel so fortunate that you are here with us, as a bold, active woman-- making change happen in Nigeria, and making connections globally.

Thanks! Keep carrying your light!
Scott

Scott Beck
World Pulse Online Community Manager

Adepeju's picture

Thank you Scott. I'm grateful

Thank you Scott. I'm grateful for your comment and the opportunities Worlpulse offers. I will keep the fire burning, I promise...

Nezed's picture

Peju my dear! You have said

Peju my dear! You have said it well and delivered it perfectly... I cannot help but go through this journey with you..Your fight for against maternal mortality.. Kudos Girlfriend!

I do not aim for Perfection; Just excellence!

Adepeju's picture

Hey sis

Thank you very much for your comment. I'm glad you know we are in this fight together. Can't wait for you to return from the moon..There is a lot of work to be done. Btwn, hope your dancing lesson is going on fine :-)

Nezed's picture

Of course! Am gonna break a

Of course! Am gonna break a leg that day... :)

I do not aim for Perfection; Just excellence!

Carlotta's picture

When we go to the hospital we

When we go to the hospital we are putting our lives in the medical personnel's hands and they should consider that very seriously. It is really not a good thing when people bungle up where human lives are concerned. they might pay but that won't bring our loved ones back, but you go gal, make them cough up until they start performing as they should.I wish you had a way of addressing them directly and highlight the public's concern.

Adepeju's picture

Thank you for your comments

Thank you for your comments Carlotta but you will agree with me that nothing changes a man and makes him more careful than knowing there are heavy consequences for his action! Although actions do not bring back loved ones, they save a thousand more women. Presently, I'm looking `to collaborate with the Nigerian Medical Council to address this problem as well as organize seminars and workshops for healthcare service providers.

MaDube's picture

Dear Adepeju

Your story is truly inspiring and it is great to see the change you are already bringing to your community.

Adepeju's picture

Thank you Madube

Thank you Madube

Rita Raj's picture

Pro Bono

Maternal deaths are prevalent in certain pockets in India as well and women need more women like you to fight the negligence of health services. The three positions we take has also been stated well, working for sustainable solutions is hard work.

Adepeju's picture

You are so right Rita!

You are so right Rita! Working for sustainable solution is hardwork but we won't stop!

amiesissoho's picture

Must be a way out

Thanks for the piece. It is always inspiring to know people wanting to make positive change in the lives of others.

Amie

Adepeju's picture

Thank you too for reading

Thank you too for reading Amie :-)

zoneziwoh's picture

Beautiful

I enjoy the way you chose to narrate the tale with examples especially regarding the ignorant approach towards the doctor's negligence. That is an excellent way in telling a story.

again, i love the phrase which i quote 'no action is not an alternative' beautiful. it is indeed no alternative. Thanks

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

facebook: Zoneziwoh

twitter: @ZoFem

Adepeju's picture

Thank you for your comment

Thank you for your comment dear friend. I really appreciate it.

Frances Faulkner's picture

Wonderful work

Adepeju,

You are a wonderful advocate for women and their families when they are at their most vulnerable. I love the calm logic you are using in your work, educating people as you go along, giving them choice. Choice is power.

Keep it up -- very inspiring! Frances

Adepeju's picture

Thank you for your comment

Thank you for your comment Frances. I really appreciate it.

Frances Faulkner's picture

Wonderful work

Adepeju,

You are a wonderful advocate for women and their families when they are at their most vulnerable. I love the calm logic you are using in your work, educating people as you go along, giving them choice. Choice is power.

Keep it up -- very inspiring! Frances

Tawjna's picture

The Glass Is Half Full

Hello Adepeju,

Great article. As is said at times, a patient's recovery is mostly dependent on how he perceives his situation as opposed to the real problem. So as we can clearly see - perception is 90% the battle. Seeing possibilities as opposed to challenges provides enthusiasm to effectively pursue change. Continue using whatever means necessary.

Regards,

Adepeju's picture

You are right Tawjna. Seeing

You are right Tawjna. Seeing possibilities provides enthusiasm to effectively pursue change. When i talk to people about my cause and I'm out on the field working, most people comment to the effect that I'm a very passionate person. The truth is being passionate comes from seeing possibilities. Thank you again Tawjna

SallyB's picture

Powerful Voice

Your energy and commitment to women's rights shine through in this piece. I am so glad that you are there for the women of your country and that you are helping others to learn their rights and stand up for themselves and others!

Adepeju's picture

Thank you SallyB. Your

Thank you SallyB. Your comment encourages me to do my best. I really appreciate it.

Juliette Maughan's picture

Wonderful Writer

I love how you write. I can feel your passion and personality shine through.

Thanks for highlighting the cultural beliefs, our societies quite often hide behind these beliefs as a way of not doing anything. Something similar is that karma will take care of it.

For the most part certain things can be allowed to pass but not when situations can be avoided.

Keep up the good fight my sister.

J

Adepeju's picture

Hey sis, Thank you for your

Hey sis,

Thank you for your comment. Missing your posts already. When are you writing a new story? I'm really looking forward to reading about the Caribbean :-)

Juliette Maughan's picture

I shall soon

Hey,

Just when you think hardly anyone notices you get an email like this that encourages you to continue. Thank you for you kind words. I do hope that my written expression moves more towards the quality of yours and I will be posting soon. I have a few things I would like to share for feedback from the ladies so will do so within the next week or so.

Best,

Juliette

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