The Punch

Ilities put us at risk of complicati­ons, P camp pregnant women

On as gloves to take delivery ternally Displaced Persons y, Abuja, as poor healthcare ications while giving birth.

- •To continue reading this story, go to https://healthwise.com//

a dangerous venture,” she told our correspond­ent during a visit to the camp.

“Giving birth in this camp is full of risk because there is no healthcare centre here. The only health facility in this camp, called NAFHA clinic, has only one bed for delivery and there is no other equipment. The clinic (a container) was establishe­d in 2018 by Network Aid for Humanitari­an Assistance, a non-government­al organisati­on, in

Abuja.

“There is no drug in the clinic; even ordinary folic acid to give to pregnant women is not available. Because of this, many women now deliver at home. The trauma I faced when I had my fourth baby two months ago is something I wouldn’t pray for anyone to experience,” Mrs. Muhammed said.

Speaking with PUNCH Healthwise, Muhammed said it is usually a sad tale for pregnant women in the camp who develop complicati­ons during delivery.

Giving birth in camp matter of life and death

“Giving birth in this camp has become a matter of life and death. When I heard some of my neighbours discussing the horrific things that they faced when they had complicati­ons during labour and how the clinic in the camp failed them, due to lack of equipment and drugs, I thought it was a minor thing, until I experience­d it.

“I gave birth on May 23, 2021, through an unplanned caesarean section at the Maitama General Hospital, here in Abuja. I registered for antenatal care at the camp clinic and I knew my expected delivery date.

“When I fell into labour, I came to the clinic and was here for two days in serious pain, without any medical interventi­ons. The staff could not help me because they don’t have the equipment to work with.

“The third day, when I couldn’t deliver, they checked me and told me that my baby had breached. So, they referred me to Maitama General Hospital for CS. Going to Maitama was a huge problem because of lack of money and my husband is jobless.

“It took the interventi­on of the chairman of the camp who mobilised people in the camp to raise money for a deposit before I was finally rushed to the hospital in pain,” she said.

Continuing, Muhammed said, “Getting to the hospital, they billed me N170,000 for CS, which was far from what was raised by the chairman. The chairman, however, pleaded with the hospital staff to collect the little amount he had with him and save my life and that of my baby first.

“In the end, we were able to pay N140,000 and a good-spirited doctor at the hospital helped us to complete the N30,000 balance. I almost lost my life because, at one point, I became very weak. The pain that I went through wasn’t palatable at all.”

Pregnant women and children living in starvation

Muhammed further told our correspond­ent that beyond the challenges of childbirth, pregnant women in the camp were also faced with hunger and starvation.

She lamented, “When I was pregnant, I scarcely ate because there was really no food to eat. And since I gave birth, I have been living in starvation. The government banned okada business and that made my husband, who is an okada rider jobless, and he can no longer provide money for feeding.

“Worse still, there is no government interventi­on or assistance. The little food that we eat comes from kind individual­s and some non-government­al organisati­ons.

“But it does not come always. I am not the only one experienci­ng this; a lot of nursing mothers in this camp are suffering.

Nobody is feeding well. Most times, we only feed once a day.”

In the camp, our correspond­ent gathered that some of the women who had complicati­ons had similar experience­s asmuhammed.

Many at home

Those who had vaginal delivery, PUNCH Healthwise gathered, also have sad stories to tell.

Aisha Ibrahim, also from Borno

deliveries taking place

State, told our correspond­ent that she gave birth to three out of her five children in the camp.

The mother of five shares her experience, “I came to the camp in 2014 with two children. But I have five children now. I gave birth to three in the camp and I delivered them at home.

“My neighbour took the deliveries for me and helped me cut the placenta. I gave birth to them at home because there was no money to go and register in a hospital outside the camp, while the clinic in the camp has no delivery facilities.”

Asked if she was aware of the risk of delivering at home, Ibrahim said, “When you are left with no choice, what do you do? At the camp clinic, they don’t even have drugs to stop bleeding, if a woman is bleeding; no injection to relieve a woman of pain after delivery. They don’t even have ordinary hand gloves. So, what is the essence of going there?”

 ??  ?? •The makeshift clinic in the camp
•The makeshift clinic in the camp

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