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Jowhar doctors urge pregnant women to get treatment for malaria

Storyline:Science & Tech

(ERGO) -04 March, 2016:  The local community in Balliad, 35 km from Widhwidh town in Togdheer, are donating livestock to support the completion of a maternal healthcare centre in the area.

Preventing the large numbers of women dying in childbirth or suffering painful complications is viewed as a priority, according to local elders.

Despite the hardships the herding community is suffering due to the current drought, the animals they are contributing will be sold for cash to pay for some of the construction costs.

Hayan Ali, one of the elders, said: “We have come together and decided to lay the corner stone of this healthcare centre because there is no other healthcare centre where patients can be taken, and therefore women here die when delivering their children.”

Dr Jaama Ali Mohamed, manager of a healthcare centre in Widhwidh, said 10 women were reported to have died in childbirth in the Balliad area during the past three months. Most died of uncontrolled bleeding and other complications that local traditional midwives could not handle due to their lack of skills and equipment.

Many of the women facing childbirth were also severely under-nourished.

The Balliad healthcare centre will have four wards. Two trained midwives will be assigned there from the Widh Widh hospital.

The facility will mean women no longer have to travel long distances to Widh Widh, or even further Buhodle, 50 km away, for delivery of their babies and general care during maternity.

Fadumo Ismail, who has eight children, lost a baby two years ago after local midwives failed to help her. She travelled to Buhodle, where on arrival her unborn baby was already dead.

“The local midwives practise trial and error and if you experience a difficult medical condition, they will not be able to get equipment or drugs to save your life,” Fadumo said.

A traditional midwife in Balliad, Sahra Sulub, told Radio Ergo she had worked in the trade for 15 years but had never received any formal training.

She said two women she was attending to in the past week had died due to bleeding.

“In this very week, two women whom I assisted to deliver babies died due to bleeding. We don’t have equipment and we were not given any training so we were not in the position of saving their lives,” she said. “Due to the lack of equipment, we are forced to use our bare hands.”

Source: Ergo