Child Birth – African Style
Child Birth in Africa – Ouch!
Child Birth. We’ve all gone through it, one way or the other. As a male, I’m glad I will never know what it will feel like to give birth.
This belief was even more reinforced after my last trip to Africa, when I saw what women have to endure during Child Birth to ensure the human species keeps going. That is, women lucky enough to have a hospital nearby.
Anyone who has gone to Africa would notice the lack of infrastructure there. Electricity is a luxury. Food on the table is an achievement. People are very resourceful with what they have – which is usually nothing. This also applies to the health system.
Child Birth Environment
An example of a general hospital ward is shown below.
This is a hospital atnear Lake Malawi – I was keen to see how hospitals function outside of the western world. It was a small place, very basic, but clean. This hospital is one of the more ‘prosperous’ in Malawi.
This is because it’s located near a popular traveller hangout, and backpackers come through regularly to give small donations that become part of the hospital’s budget. This money is used to buy equipment, including basic drugs and replacement malaria nets – funds permitting. During the visit, I noticed that some of the nets had holes in them.
There were also patients there who were keen to meet those of us who were way out of town. This included one young lady who had only given birth about 30 minutes before we turned up. Remarkably, she was keen to meet us, even though she was probably feeling a bit sore from Child Birth. I doubt if the hospital stocked any Epidural to make her ordeal less painless.
Her name was Sara.
We asked ‘So how are you and the Baby going?’
She replied ‘We are all very good. Would you like to see her?’
I expected the Baby to be in a maternity ward elsewhere, and that we would have to go for a brief stroll to view the new born.
We replied ‘Yeah, sure’.
She then pulled back the sheet on her bed, and pulled out her Baby. This is a picture I took of them together – note the presence of blood still on the Baby’s head, showing just how recently she had given birth.
Fair to say, obviously, we were all fairly gob-smacked when she showed us her newborn. I promised that I would send her this photo, which I did when I arrived home – I hope she’s received it.
So if you thought the health system in your own country was bad, think of these people in Africa and what they have to put up with – especially during Child Birth!
I guessing they’ve never heard of Heading Home with Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality.