IWEI recently intervened in the case of a young married girl who had been in labour for 3 days. On June 15, IWEI staff members on a visit to IWEI women centre in Ajingi were notified by the women who were in the literacy class that a young girl had been in labour for 3 days and her aged father had refused to permit the husband to take her to hospital. The women also said the TBA(who had recently attended our TBA training program) had from the first day been advising the family to take the girl to hospital to no avail. The village head who was away was contacted by phone to notify him of the situation. He immediately said she should be taken to hospital and his deputy should be contacted, unfortunately the deputy had gone to his farm and could not be reached. Together with 4 women from the Center, IWEI staff proceeded to visit the girl.
On arrival, the girl was found alone in her room in great distress.Together with the women, IWEI staff was able to persuade the father of the urgency of the situation and the need to get the girl to hospital. On arrival at Gaya hospital, the girl was taken straight to the labour room. Unfortunately the baby girl was delivered dead and was already starting to decompose. The young girl’s life was saved, she was discharged and IWEI returned her to her community. The family was extremely grateful. The family was advised to ensure she takes all her medication, not to take the traditional hot baths and to ensure she rests well. The TBA and the women were advised that in future such situations should immediately be reported to the village head.
This was a good experience for the women as they came together as a group to help resolve a situation. It has shown them what they can do and the power of a group as against an individual working to resolve a problem on their own. Also the fact that they realized it was a serious situation shows that IWEI is making a positive impact. If maternal mortality is to be reduced there is a serious need to raise awareness within the male population on the importance of allowing pregnant women to attend ante natal clinics and to deliver in hospital. Ignorance continues to play a role in maternal mortality issues. Aisha might have been another addition to the statistics on maternal mortality. IWEI will continue to raise awareness and is already working with stakeholders, Local Government officials and members of the community of Ajingi LGA, Kano.