Mothers fear birth complication amid absence of midwives

Community members attending a prayer at a church in Gondokoro on Thursday (Photo: Adia Jildo)

By Adia Jildo

The community of Gondokoro of Juba County has called on the government to provide midwifery services to expectant mothers and a complete healthcare package that will enable safe delivery of babies.

The community members decried lack of midwives as most mothers give birth at home without the help of trained midwives which might lead to birth complication.

Jacob Tongun Wani Alfonse, the chief of Gondokoro said mothers are at risk of child-birth complications as many cases are being transferred to Juba which is a far distance from their locality.

“Our main challenge is the hospital; there is no proper place for our wives to give birth. Most of these women give birth at home,” he said.

Jacob worried that the lack of proper medical attention might be the cause of early menopause claiming women in Gondokoro have lately stopped giving birth at their 30s.

Eunice Legge, a mother who had been attending her Antenatal care service said they only had one doctor who serves a multipurpose job as a doctor and gynecologist.

“We have a doctor who diagnoses sicknesses but when it reaches the Antenatal service like giving birth, there is a labour bed but no midwives to attend to us. We are attended to by a local birth attendant or you go to Juba to give birth,” she said.

“Our place is far from the city Juba and usually when things get tough, we go up to Juba which you might get tired by the time you are reaching the hospital,” Eunice attested.

She said the presence of the hospital has lost its meaning as no emergency can be served due to absence of midwives, long distance and insufficient medical service.

Eunice recounted that she gave birth in the hands of a local birth attendant when she was in labor.

She called on the government to provide some midwives to help their situation so as to prevent pregnancy and birth complications hence saving the lives of both mother and her child.

Estherina Doki, a traditional birth attendant who also works as a cleaner at Gondokoro Primary Healthcare Center (PHCC) expressed the need for the only major health facility in the area to be completed to address the needs of the locals.

“There is no proper hospital here, even to admit a patient or medications needed to be given to a mother after giving birth is not there,” she shockingly revealed.

Estherina said her experience of birth alone as a mother made her to think of a need to help others go through a safe birth.

She however called on the government to provide medication and equipment needed for the intensive care of an expectant mother and her new born.

“A mother might have lost a lot of blood during birth and there might be cases where also the new born might need oxygen to supports its life to leave, or even other complications, this needs a lot.

Estherina said she has so far helped mothers to give birth to 37 babies in Gondokoro.

Sarah Poni the women representative in Gondokoro also said the poor road network blocks their linkage to the city as transportation of expectant mothers to access better medical facilities in the city has been made difficult.

“It really hurts me that the road is too bad. If you are supposed to take this woman maybe because of birth complication, on the way she should have gotten tired already or might give birth on the way. The road is in bad condition and blocked by water especially when it rains,” she lamented.

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