Three years ago,I stumbled upon a story in the Daily Monitor Uganda’s daily about Cecilia a young woman who had die in labour because she and he husband didn’t have £66 to cover her care at the local hospital.
Cecilia’s story was shocking and it was hoped that something like that would never happen to another woman. We were wrong!
Yesterday, I stumbled upon another story of a young woman who lost her life needlessly. The story is told by her local MP Bakireke Nambooze and this is what she wrote on her Facebook page
MATERNAL DEATH OR MURDER? Death has occurred to Nakamya Florence (23years) wife of Mpanga Steven, together with her unborn baby. The Young Lady checked into Mukono Health at 5.00am yesterday with early signs of labour. At 10.00am labour had intensified but on checking her, the Midwife detected that the baby was very big and she couldn’t have a normal delivery, she suggested referral to Mulago or a bribe of 250,000/= to get the Mukono Doctor operate on her. Another Doctor who heard this one Christopher Bingi approached the attendants and convinced them that Nakamya Could be delivered normally if only they would shift her to his Private Clinic called Trinity at Nasuuti and pay him 100,000/=. They finally settled for 90,000/=.The Husband of Nakamya a Bodaboda cyclist found Doctor Bingi’s offer affordable. Nakamya was taken to Nasuuti were Dr. Bingi abandoned her with a cleaner. He came back at 6.30 in the evening to find Nakamya in great pain, minutes later Nakamya collapsed and died. Dr. Bingi fooled the relatives that Nakamya was still alive and drove her body to Mukono Church founded Hospital and took off. Ennaku z’omubbi ziba 40 zokka because at the same time I happened to be at the same place. I mobilised police immediately and we arrested Bingi. Nakamya’s body is in Mulago with the baby still in her Womb as the Police Surgeon is nowhere to be found.I couldn’t sleep the whole night as I kept thinking about Nakamya and the many women dying in Uganda while bringing life in this World. I feel so annoyed with the entire staff of Mukono Health Centre IV. Basawo (doctors) you have betrayed me for I strive very hard to see that my Health Centre doesn’t run out of supplies, We have a community Ambulance to handle referrals…… why were you asking for 250,000/= in the first place, how could you refer a Woman with obstructed labour to a private clinic…..how could this happen…….I HATE YOU UGANDA.
According to the MP the midwife at the midwife at Florence’s local health centre asked Florence and her husband for a bribe of £62.06 a fee she said said was required to bring in a specialist. The doctor who offered to transfer Florence to his private clinic asked for £22.50 and although Florence’s husband agreed to pay this fee, his wife was not given the specialist care that would have saved her life and she died.
As the MP quite rightly says, Florence died unnecessarily, the district has an ambulance and she could have been transferred to the specialist hospital which is roughly 17KM away.
I share the MP’s frustration in this. Florence’s life like Cecilia’s could have been saved
Goal Number 5 of the the Millennium Development Goals is all about Reproductive health/maternal health and as we edge towards 2015, discussions are under way as to what will replace these goals.
The question that preoccupies me today as what have we achieved when women like Cecilia and Florence are still dying because they do not have £22 or £66. Is this the price we place on a woman’s life?
I am so angered by this, I could go, but I would rather hear your views