Gomba mothers cry out over non-functional theatre

Gomba mothers cry out over non-functional theatre

Every day, 800 women die because they are pregnant. More than half of the deaths occur in rural Sub-Saharan Africa, where the chance of surviving childbirth is the lowest in the world. A lack of transport and poor access to adequate healthcare means many women bleed to death. In Uganda, official statistics claim 310 women per 100,000 live births die from complications at childbirth. At Ntwetwe Health Centre, three hours’ drive from Kampala, 36-year-old Annet Namata has come to deliver her sixth child. A year ago, she would have been just another statistic. Her baby is breached and the umbilical cord is been wrapped around its neck. Last year, the young doctor would not have had a choice but to send the heavily pregnant mother to Kiboga hospital, a two hour drive along a dirt track.“By that time she would have a ruptured uterus,” says Dr Gordon Mayengo, the only doctor in Ntwetwe. But Annet is lucky. The small clinic has been equipped with an operating theatre and the medical team are able to perform a Caesarean to get the baby out. The theatre still lacks running water and electricity, but at least there is equipment to perform life-saving surgery. Photography by Johan Bävman

Every day, 800 women die because they are pregnant. More than half of the deaths occur in rural Sub-Saharan Africa, where the chance of surviving childbirth is the lowest in the world. A lack of transport and poor access to adequate healthcare means many women bleed to death. In Uganda, official statistics claim 310 women per 100,000 live births die from complications at childbirth. At Ntwetwe Health Centre, three hours’ drive from Kampala, 36-year-old Annet Namata has come to deliver her sixth child. A year ago, she would have been just another statistic. Her baby is breached and the umbilical cord is been wrapped around its neck. Last year, the young doctor would not have had a choice but to send the heavily pregnant mother to Kiboga hospital, a two hour drive along a dirt track.“By that time she would have a ruptured uterus,” says Dr Gordon Mayengo, the only doctor in Ntwetwe. But Annet is lucky. The small clinic has been equipped with an operating theatre and the medical team are able to perform a Caesarean to get the baby out. The theatre still lacks running water and electricity, but at least there is equipment to perform life-saving surgery. Photography by Johan Bävman