Turyakira was 8 months pregnant when she decided to walk across the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest from Nkuringo to stay with a friend near Bwindi Community Hospital. Alone and carrying her two and a half year old baby on her back she had covered half of the 6 hour journey when she realised she had started bleeding.
Walking for several hours on winding steep and slippery paths did not only make her tired, but also made her weaker as she lost more blood. She was now bleeding heavily and realised that she would not get to the hospital with her child on her back. She decided to leave the baby with strangers out of desperation.
Turyakira arrived at the hospital alive but extremely weak and unable to speak. The health team realised she was in shock following excessive bleeding and immediately gave her blood and saline transfusions and rushed her to the operating room for surgery. Sadly, only Turyakira could be saved; her unborn baby had died. Having only attended one antenatal clinic when she was 3 months pregnant, Turyakira had no idea there was any risk to her unborn child.
The team did all it could to save Turyakira’s life and as they continued monitoring her closely, she regained consciousness and remembered her baby that she had left with strangers. The baby was later located in Nkwenda Village 2 Km away and mother and child were reunited at the Hospital.
Although Turyakira lost her unborn baby, were it not for Bwindi Community Hospital, her two and half year old would have lost his mother as well.
Many mothers, like Turyakira, walk for days to reach Bwindi Community Hospital, many of them are already in labour. The result is often babies being born at the side of the road to exhausted mothers or worse, the pregnancy ending in the same why as Turyakira’s.
Bwindi Community Hospital’s Waiting Mother’s Hostel facility is a safe place for high risk expectant mothers to come a few weeks or months prior to their due date so that they can receive the medical attention they need leading up to and during their labour. This means these mothers do not have to walk during labour, they are able to prepare themselves and come to the facility in a calm and relaxed way at a time in their pregnancy which is suitable for them. They can start their journey knowing that they will arrive at a safe place with the medical attention they need and a place to rest. The Waiting Mother’s Hostel has increased hospital deliveries in Bwindi to 45%. The hospital’s objective is to raise this proportion to over 80% by 2015.
Stella breastfeeds her child as the team from the hospital look on during her follow up visit. As the world … more