Pregnant Mother Bleeds to Death During Curfew

  • People mill outside Kibwezi Sub-County Hospital in Makueni County on February 28, 2019.
    People mill outside Kibwezi Sub-County Hospital in Makueni County on February 28, 2019.
    Daily Nation
  • A pregnant woman bled to death in Makueni County for fear of flouting the nationwide dusk to dawn curfew and the fear of harassment by the police.

    KTN News on Thursday, April 9 reported that Lydia Mueni, a mother of seven, endured a whole night of labour pains, with her family also afraid to go outside.

    "She told me she would not go out at that time. She told me to go out if I wanted a beating. So we agreed to wait until around 4 a.m in the morning," Matty  Nyamai told the media house.

    It wasn't until 5 a.m at the end of the curfew that the family got assistance from someone who helped them to Kibwezi Sub-county hospital. She had lost her child the dead of night and later bled to death at the facility.

    Mueni was buried forty eight hours after she had passed on as directed by the national government in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. She had become an indirect casualty of the virus.

    Makueni County Referal Hospital has been greatly affected by the pandemic, recording 15 maternal deaths in 2019, but has since registered four deaths in one week, owing to the pandemic.

    Health Director-General Patrick Amoth while addressing the media from Afya House on Thursday, April 9, had directed that counties designate Covid-19 hospitals, and the others carry on with their normal routine.

    "We have directed all the 47 counties to identify and designate a Covid-19 hospital so that the other hospitals continue offering the normal services, immunisation, maternal-child health,

    "We are also in constant dialogue with the security apparatus to ensure that there is the unfettered movement of those who need to seek services at any given time," Amoth stated.

    On Wednesday, April 7, Dr, Jemimah Kariuki, a Resident in Obstetrics and Gynaecology based in Nairobi, tweeted that she would aid pregnant women in times of emergency, after she was informed of a scenario where an expectant mother perished, leaving behind an infant, a story that touched her.

    "Any lady during this curfew and Covid-19 crisis who feels they are unable to reach the hospital and they are in labour or have an emergency, kindly reach out and I will do my best to intervene," Kariuki stated as she further detailed to her plan which she hopes will rope in different stakeholders in the country.

    The health worker who is listed as an essential service provider disclosed that there was an increased rate of pregnant related issues such as haemorrhage and infections after women have been in labour for long, stating that she was out to offer any help, ranging from advice and guidance to connecting the patients to emergency service providers.

    "First of all, even before we discuss how they can be assisted, these patients are embroiled in fear and anxiety.  Remember birth pains can go up to 13 hours and anxiety and expectancy do not go hand in hand," Kariuki stated.

    According to the medical practitioner, more efforts would be realised if the police service is also incorporated in the plan as they would be notified of special cases, or they themselves would assess a scenario and judge carefully, hence saving lives.

    "Our police should be informed that they can give leeway to allow people to go to the hospital, either by seeing a letter of admission or by the pain a patient is undergoing. However, in some cases, one cannot see blood. For example like in a first-semester miscarriage.

    "Women should also be aware of danger signs such as the baby not moving or water breaking and should avail themselves at a facility. They should be prepared by having their bathing kits ready, their NHIF, ID cards available and should pack baby clothes to be shown to police officers," Kariuki detailed.

    Dr Jemimah Kariuki, a medical doctor based in Nairobi in a photo tweeted on June 9, 2017
    Dr Jemimah Kariuki, a medical doctor based in Nairobi in a photo tweeted on June 9, 2017