Gaudensia Namata, a resident of Buziranduulu Village in Kasaali Town Council, Kyotera District and her unborn child succumbed to one of the most bizzare maternal deaths common in Uganda.
Most maternal deaths are caused by pregnancy complications but in Uganda, it is that added with midwives’ negligence behaviors and greed.
For Namata, it was Uganda Shillings 160,000 that costed her life and that of the child she was expecting.
On Tuesday, the now deceased arrived at Kalisizo General Hospital hoping to go back with every woman’s happiness, baby! Little did she know, she will not only loose the child but also her life in the process.
According to Namata’s attendant, Ms Sarah Nanjego, they arrived at the facility on Tuesday at 10 pm but to their dismay, no health worker attended to them.
“We tried to be patient thinking that they[ health workers] were attending to other patients but when I moved around I met one of the midwives and she requested for Shs 160,000 to attend to Namata,” she said.
She added that after soliciting the money from several relatives, they were then faced with a problem of withdrawing it from mobile money since it was very late.
“There was no mobile money outlet open by 2 am. We later suggested to send it direct to their [midwives] mobile phone but they refused to receive the money saying they preferred cash,” she said.
By this time, Ms Nanjego said Namata started feeling more abdominal pain and cried for help.
“We tried to reach out to the acting hospital Superintendent, Mr Emmanuel Ssekyeru who was inside one of the rooms but he denied us audience, saying it was too late for him to attend to patients,” she added.
Nanjego narrates that a few minutes to 3am, the midwives tried to help Ms Namata to deliver but this was very late. An hour later, Namata breathed her last due to suspected prolonged obstructed labour.
Citing fowl play in the death of a mother, other mothers in the hospital joined the victim’s relatives to demonstrate against the midwives unprofessional behaviours
This attracted the police’s attention who arrested the two midwives on charges of negligence of duty as Mr Abbey Ngwiire, the Kyotera District police commander stated.
“We still have them in our custody at Kalisizo Police station as investigations go on,” he said.
The Kyotera District health officer, Dr Edward Muwanga said the cause of Namata’s death will be revealed after carrying out a postmortem at Masaka Regional Referral hospital.
“Delaying in such a situation is very dangerous, anything can happen to the life of those women. It is, therefore, not proper to accuse the midwives of negligence before knowing what exactly killed the patient,” he said.
Last September, seven staff members at the same hospital were interdicted over abuse of office which explains the existing staffing gap at the facility.
These included Dr Berna Nakanwagi, the hospital superintendent by then, Mr Richard Bantubalamu who was the assistant hospital administrator among others.