Doctors and nurses from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) have successfully removed a dead foetus from the womb of a 21-year-old woman in Mombasa.
The woman’s life was in danger and the removal of the foetus was a major relief to her.
Ericko Outa, the woman’s husband, said his wife is now recuperating at Mrima Health Centre.
“She also had an infection. She is under medication at the hospital. I thank the health workers from the clinic for helping my wife. I never paid a single cent. I am now planning the burial of the foetus. She had lived with the dead foetus for two days,” he said.
Salma Hussein was writhing in pain at a private hospital in Mikindani on Tuesday since there were no medical services in public facilities in the county and the hospital she went to does not perform surgery.
As the doctors’ strike continues, expectant mothers who have been suffering due to lack of maternity services after the total shutdown of the Coast General Provincial Hospital got a relief after MSF, in collaboration with the Mombasa County government, opened a maternity unit in Likoni.
The wing at Mrima Health Centre has an operating theatre, offering free maternity services.
It has become a haven for expectant mothers from Kwale, Lamu, Tana River and Mombasa counties who have been flocking it due to the ongoing health crisis.
MSF Project coordinator Josephine Masikini said the hospital also performs caesarean section operations.
Ms Masikini said MSF conducted an assessment during the first quarter of 2015 and identified a gap in the management of emergency surgical obstetric care.
“There was no functioning obstetric operating theatre in Likoni. All expectant mothers in need of surgical services had to either go to CPGH or be referred when it is [became] impossible for them to deliver normally,” she said.
Ms Masikini, however, said they might be overwhelmed due to the ongoing doctors’ strike.
“In November, 195 mothers delivered at Mrima and in December 123 (delivered). The nurses’ strike had an impact on the activities [in] December. As of yesterday noon, the total deliveries for January were 183 including the C-section cases,” said Ms Masikini.
Mombasa Health Chief Officer Khadija Shikely termed MSF as a blessing to the county during the current strike by doctors.
“Likoni is one of the sub-counties in Mombasa which had no theatre,” Dr Shikely said.
The strike has affected crucial services such as maternity, surgeries and emergencies, leaving expectant mothers to seek alternative services from traditional birth attendants or giving birth at home which poses a danger of developing fistula, according Dr Musimbi Soita, a consultant gynaecologist at Pwani Gyno Centre in Mombasa County.