Prosami candidates who have volunteered their time and effort for the common cause of reducing infant and maternal mortality.
I am a nurse by profession. My older sister died during childbirth, giving birth to twins. My sister's husband was unable to care for the twins so I took them in. My husband passed away in 2001 - I lost my only support. These were the darkest periods of my life. When I heard about PROSAMI, I decided to join and learn to provide better care to pregnant women.
My sister lost her baby on the delivery table due to a lack of effective interventions during prolonged labour. The midwife failed to do the right things at the right time either by ignorance or negligence. As a result, the baby was stillborn, while the mother sustained extensive injuries. I was quick to join PROSAMI to improve my management of unpredictable life-threatening complications that can arise at the time of delivery.
Angel Bilonda Kazadi
My sister died from eclampsia. In her marriage, she struggled to conceive for many years due to primary sterility. She finally conceived and progressed normally with the pregnancy until term. One day, she visited her clinic complaining of headaches and was prescribed medication for malaria. She was home alone when she started having seizures and was found unresponsive by her neighbours and pastor. They took her to a local maternity where the death of the fetus was confirmed. A caesarean section was performed to save the mother. She was transferred to a higher level of care where she died. The combination of delayed diagnosis of and complications following eclampsia, lack of resources and delayed transfer proved fatal for my sister. Both mother and baby were buried the same day.
I lost a friend following post-partum hemorrhage. She was 29 years old with three children. She went to a local maternity where she delivered normally. After delivery, she began to bleed profusely and went into shock. She died, leaving behind her one day old baby and three other children, the oldest being six years old. The baby was sent to an orphanage. PROSAMI offered me the opportunity to join in the fight against maternal mortality which has ravaged our community and condemned so many children to orphanage. This baby is now suffering with growth retardation due to poor nutrition.
In 2017, a 21 year old primipara was in the delivery room. She was at term with a confirmed intrauterine death. She delivered a stillborn with its umbilical cord around the neck. Witnessing this unfortunate story pushed me to renew my engagement in PROSAMI. As midwives, we have a lot to do to prevent such catastrophes in our communities. The training received from PROSAMI is essential to strengthen our capacities and is key to overcoming this state of affairs.
We received a patient referred from a health center who was bleeding and in shock. Examination revealed a uterine rupture with the dead fetus already in the abdominal cavity. Although she had a previous caesarean section, the referring health center had administered medication contra-indicated in women with previous caesarean sections. The heartbreaking part is that this was a precious pregnancy because this family had lost three children at birth within five years. I joined PROSAMI to acquire competency and train other nurses so that together we can improve the care we provide to pregnant women and reduce maternal and infant mortality. I, myself, lost my maternal aunt following post-partum hemorrhage. It was very emotional taking care of her newborn orphan.
The objectives and activities of PROSAMI are in line with those of the PMI (maternal and child protection program). I am in the program because the protection of mother and child also involves promotion of their health. The sad facts related herein are family and work experiences which prompted me to join PROSAMI: We had two sad events in our family due to poor maternal and newborn care.
Five Month Old Baby
Here is a little boy five months after his mother's death. He is presenting with growth retardation due to lack of proper nutrition.
Left (Widowed father) and on the Right (Nurse)
My neighbor died during childbirth. That was a painful story. She had nine children. This woman never attended antenatal care. She decided to give birth at home as she had done previously, but this time, there was shoulder dystocia. The baby's head was born but the rest of the body remained stuck inside. The neighbors brought her to a nearby health care center where they managed to get the baby out. Unfortunately, she had the retained placenta. She was transferred to a higher level of care but she died en route. The child was given to family members. I joined PROSAMI to improve my management of pregnant women.
As the sister-in-charge for the maternity department, I admitted a 38 year old pregnant woman with a twin pregnancy and eight children. She was bleeding in her pregnancy attributed to a low-lying placenta. After a week of admission, she was discharged with instructions to return as soon as the bleeding recurs. Instructions she respected. She was prepared for a caesarean section, but there was no blood available for a blood transfusion. I offered to donate my own blood and urged the doctor to start the operation. The doctor was reluctant to operate without availability of the blood. By the time the blood transfusion was started, the woman died. We lost three lives due to lack of collaboration within the team. You understand my misery since that day. After training in Virginia, I am trying to correct numerous mistakes. The holistic care of the newborn and the mother has become second nature to me. Moreover, by applying the rules acquired during my training, collaborative among colleagues has improved. This training for midwives was an effective opportunity. I thank PROSAMI for this initiative.