|Couple with triplets in Anambra cry out for help, govt offers N2k, 1 bag of rice, 12 toilet tissues and I dettol liquid|
From Saturday Sun
For Mr. Asiegbu Mmadubuko, a native of Akaeze village, Urum in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State whose wife was delivered of triplets recently, his joy has been severely punctured. Rather than happiness, the family is writhing in deep agony. Tuesday, June 16, 2015 would remain indelible in their minds. It was the day his wife, Oluchukwu and the triplets in her womb were pulled out from the jaws of death. In the early hours of that day, at about 2am, Oluchukwu who was heavily pregnant came under intense pressure of labour.
Her husband, who was alerted, made concerted effort to save the situation but as soon as they stepped out of their house, a baby started coming out. With intense pain and agony, she laid helplessly on the ground, pushing the baby out all alone. Her hubby couldn’t help as he knew nothing about how to handle a pregnant woman in labour.
At first, Asiegbu told Saturday Sun that he thought that everything was over when the baby finally came out but was deeply terrified when he saw his wife gasping for breath on the ground. A nurse in their neighbourhood who was called upon to assist, according to him, was also bereft of ideas on what to do. Although the sky was heavily pregnant, roaring with thunders, Asiegbu ran as much as his feet could afford to the local birth attendant who presided over his wife’s antenatal. She declined to assist saying the night was scary but Asiegbu went on his knees explaining the situation amid panting and gasping for breath.
Oluchukwu, who was bleeding and having other complications associated with labour, had virtually lost all the strength by the time second ‘nurse’ arrived. She was calmly carried to the room and few minutes later, she was delivered of two more babies. Just then, according to Asiegbu, she collapsed, shaking very convulsively. He told Saturday Sun that the second ‘nurse’ at this point could not revive his heartthrob who was almost giving up her ghost.
He narrated to Saturday Sun, their heartrending story.
Hear him: “On the 16th June, 2015 around 2am, my wife woke me up amid deep groaning, telling me that she was in labour. Before I could lead her out of the house in order to take her to the local birth attendant where she used to go to for antenatal, the baby started coming out. The whole event surrounding it was so strange to me because I had never witnessed that kind of thing before. I don’t know what to do and where to start. Luckily, there’s a nurse living in our neighbourhood so I quickly ran to her house to solicit for her assistance. When she came, she was apparently confused too as she could not give me satisfactory answer on the cause of the continued painful moaning of my wife despite the fact that a baby had come out. With hot tears in my eyes, I painfully and helplessly watched my wife going down. I couldn’t bear it; hence, I summoned courage and went down to the local birth attendant who presided over her antenatal although it’s a bit far from my house. At first, she declined to come to our aid saying she could not come out by that time of the night but I begged fervently; explaining the pathetic condition of my wife. I told her that I don’t understand what the first nurse was doing and that I can’t afford to lose my wife.
“When we got to my house, we took her inside the room to ascertain the exact problem because the baby came out while we were outside. Before we knew it, my wife was delivered of a second baby. I never expected that. In fact, I was dumbfounded. I don’t know whether to start rejoicing or what. You know that kind of thing. I was very concerned about the health condition of my wife that night. Still surprised, they told me that the third child has come out. Ha! I never expected that my wife would be delivered of twins talk more of triplets. Just then, my wife collapsed; shaking very convulsively. She was bleeding too. Lord! I was seriously devastated. At once, I was gasping for breath. It felt like the whole air in the world has been exhausted. But the nurse said I should bring her to her own ‘clinic’.
She said she could handle it. There again the problem of transport means popped up. But luckily, my brother’s car was available so he came over and we headed to the nurse’s apartment. But my spirit was not comfortable with the treatment the nurse was giving her because she wasn’t responding to the treatment as expected. I was praying fervently for the day to break so that I could seek alternative means.
“In the morning, I rushed her to Amaku General Hospital, Awka. I was hoping that the government would come to our aid given the condition we found ourselves. But before I knew it, expenses were heavily raining on me. I never minded because my major concern was my wife and the triplets. But there again, she started shaking convulsively in the hospital. That was when the health workers knew it was a serious matter. Thank God they were able to manage the convulsion and bleeding and other complications. Thereafter, I paid for some pints of blood that she was given and numerous expensive drugs. I was paying for drugs every day. I expended about N200,000 which I borrowed from the village meeting in that hospital. That is in addition to N180,000 I had earlier saved, waiting for her delivery date. At a point, I told them that the money I borrowed has been exhausted. I pleaded with them to direct me on how I can get assistance from the Anambra State government.”
At this point, Asiegbu paused for a while, took deep breath, and continued. Apparently trying to stop tears from cascading his chins, he told Saturday Sun that the health workers abandoned his wife and the babies to their fate for his inability to pay their bills adding that some of his lenders have started demanding payback.
“Sadly, because I was no longer able to pay for their numerous medical bills and drugs, they stopped attending to my wife; you know how hospital people used to behave. As we speak, I owe many people heavily. The first money I borrowed was N100,000 and later on I borrowed another N100,000 making it N200,000 plus other smaller amounts I borrowed. I also paid the previous two nurses who attended to her in the village N10,000 each. Nevertheless, I thank God for everything” he said, adding that “The health workers did not tell me exactly what the problem was, rather, they were blaming the local nurses who attended to her in the village. They said she was supposed to undergo caesarean operation. I said God forbid; thanking God it was not through operation. I told them since God has made it that way they should do the needful as my major concern was the welfare of my wife and triplets. They kept writing drugs upon drugs and there was nothing concrete they said was the cause of the convulsion. But I suspected she was short of blood as she had bled throughout the time her labour lasted.”
When Saturday Sun visited their residence, the triplets (one male and two females) who were christened Ibetom, Okuanata and Chukwusomeje, respectively, were restive on their mother’s arms, searching for breasts. Their equally restive mother, Oluchukwu who was listening to the interview with rapt attention told our reporter that she was unconscious for several hours her dilemma lasted but had earlier been briefed.
She, however, complained bitterly that “my children are not feeding well as they should. A quantity of milk that is meant for one person is shared among the three; and I must say it is affecting them seriously. Also, breastfeeding them without adequate balanced food intake, is affecting me too. I’m not yet back to my normal self, health wise. I have not been going to postnatal because things are quite hard for us financially.”
Her husband, Asiegbu told Saturday Sun that “due to lack of money, we left the hospital before the due date to the village. As we speak, my wife is still sick. The newly born babies are not feeding well. All we are offering them is pap. There is no way she can breastfeed the three of them at the same time. The nursing mother should be feeding very well so that the breast would be producing enough rich milk for the infants. I am just managing the whole thing. There are several nutritional foods they should be eating but because there is no cash in my hand they don’t. We are passing through difficulty now. Her postpartum has been ruled out because there is no money.”
“At a point, I wrote a letter to the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development humbly requesting for their assistance. I also attached pictures of all of us while in the hospital. But since that month of June to date, they did not respond. My wife, knowing the condition she was passing through, complained that she and her new babies were feeding poorly. Truly she was right. I had to go back to the ministry to know what has been holding back my humble request for assistance but the commissioner wasn’t on seat. The officials I met kept directing me from one office to another. When I went to Child Department, I didn’t see anybody but a corps member. She told me that the workers in that department did not come because their children were sick. She directed me to come back later without any specific date. Later they directed me to another office, which also directed me back to Child Department. I waited a whole day without result and I had to go back home. Unfortunately, my first two children, a girl and a boy fell seriously sick due to malaria fever recently. I was just returning from the chemist shop where I took them to get drugs and saw some people in my house. They said that it was Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development that sent them. They came with 1 bag of rice, 12 pieces of toilet tissue, 1 Dettol liquid, 1 packet of pears soap and 1 pears cream for children, and N2000. They said that I shouldn’t come back to the ministry again. They said the N2000 was for my sick children. I wrote that letter on 22nd June, 2015. It was just three days ago that these officials from the ministry came to my village. My wife would have died if not the assistance the village meeting rendered to us.”
Meanwhile, Mmadubuko is pleading with the public for assistance.