Can you imagine we lose more than 6,000 pregnant women each year as a result of complications during pregnancy and childbirth?
50 years after independence, and we still lose 6,000 pregnant women, every year? Not nice. At all.
As a journalist, I often write about maternal health. I talk to women who have lost sisters. Women who have lost daughters. Husbands who have lost wives. Women who have lost dear friends. In most of the cases, the deaths were preventable. The sad experiences of these people move me, I will not lie. Sometimes tears well up in my eyes as I interview them. I am only human after all.
I’m sure that you know of a woman who has died due to pregnancy and childbirth-related complications. It could be your sister, your aunt, your cousin, your former classmate, your childhood friend, your neighbor, your shopkeeper, your tailor, your child’s teacher. Perhaps even the high school prefect –the one you had a longstanding grudge with.
But yet, the government is there. There is free maternity healthcare. There are thousands of NGOs and private health centers around the country. So why are women still dying?
The answer to this question can best be told through the life of Mrs X. She died at 8 months pregnant after bleeding to death. Mrs. X’s placenta had been too low down in her uterus, something that had not been identified in good time. She need not have died. Her death was preventable.
See her story in the video below is the story of Mrs. X. It is about 14 minutes long. Watch it. It will help you understand why we are losing about 6,000 Kenyan women every year.
Mrs. X’s story is one of many Kenyan women. Too many cases of preventable deaths.
As a motherhood blogger and health journalist, I will do all that I can to raise awareness on maternal health and what we need to do to end these deaths. I will continue to educate us on danger signs in pregnancy, as well as how to ensure we have healthy pregnancies that will lead to healthy mothers and healthy babies.
It is the desire of every pregnant woman to hold her healthy newborn in her hands, and see that child grow into a healthy adult. I hope you too can do something in your own way.
Top Image: A pregnant woman receiving antenatal care from a midwife at a heath center in Mwingi District.