Mr Medson Mwale, Judith’s husband, had for the past two or three hours been on doors of his colleagues in his village. He wanted to borrow a bicycle to transport her wife to the health facility. He was not successful. Judith was in labour pains. So, at around 4:30am Judith Mwale and her husband started a foot journey to a nearby health center. They arrived at Bua health center two hours later. But the In-charge of the health center (Medical Assistant) was not in his office. They had to wait. This time, Judith was groaning with labour pains.
At exactly 7:30am, the medical assistant was in his office but with bitter news to Mr Mwale and his wife.
We don’t have a midwife here and I would therefore encourage you to find means of getting your wife to Kasungu district hospital so that she is attend to. Otherwise, there’s nothing I can do.
Mwale told me he nearly shed tears. But he quickly knew tears alone could not get his wife to Kasungu district hospital. So, he ran to Bua trading center, some 500 meters away from a health center, to look for a taxi. GOD had smiled at him. He found a taxi. But Judith was now in burning pains.
He said, "by 11am we were at Kasungu district hospital. 45 minutes later my wife delivered a baby boy. We named him 'Mayamiko' which literally means 'giving thanks to the Lord' for sparing life of my dear wife".
This incident happened in 2015 between May and November. The only midwife at Bua health center had gone to further his studies. His absence was a great challenge at the facility especially to pregnant mothers. Bua health center is one of the Basic Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (BEmONC) centers in Kasungu.
This was also before MamaYe had gone to a health center to conduct a quality of care assessment under what is known as Quality of Institutional Care (QUIC).
QUIC is a tool MamaYe uses to assess a health center on how ready it is to provide quality of care to patients for the past 24 hours.
"When MamaYe team had conducted their assessment the results showed there was a need to have a midwife at the health center. The results were disseminated before the District Health Management Team (DHMTs) and immediately the midwife was sent to Bua health to sit in for the midwife who had gone to further his studies", said Fareeda Juma, Kasungu district Safe Motherhood Coordinator. And Bua health center In-charge Moses Chimtembo was all praises for MamaYe and QUIC.
I felt bad seeing patients languishing in labour pains simply because I was alone here. And by that time I had not acquired basic training in midwifery. All I can say is thank you MamaYe for helping to bring a midwife to Bua health center.
Many health centers are struggling with several challenges not because the DHMTs cannot address those challenges but because the DHMT is not aware how grave the challenges may be. And QUIC was designed to help expose such challenges and bring them to the attention of the DMHT for them to act.