The other day a woman from the village was brought to our clinic.
Her body in shock
In the back seat of a beat up Corolla
She came with a few relatives and an educated man from Kamwenge town who was from the same minority tribe, found the woman, and rushed her to us.
The woman had given birth recently, at home, with only a relative to help her. She had come to us for antenatal a few weeks earlier, but had made the decision to stay at home for the birth. She and the baby had not been for a postnatal check-up. When the relatives saw the woman was unwell they delayed taking her to the clinic for days. It might be expensive, after all.
So there she was, her limp form lying in the car.
Then there was a lot of quick, fast discussion in Rukiga and English – between the well dressed educated man, the relatives from the village, our staff, Michael and myself. What should we do?
Could we admit her and try and help?
Do we have anything we need to treat this woman in such severe condition?
Could we find an ambulance to transport her to Fort Portal?
Would she die along the road if we tried to send her somewhere else?
Why hadn’t we already purchase our Oxygen concentrator that we desperately needed?
Did any of the other health facilities in Kamwenge have blood ready for a transfusion?
Less than a week later, we now have an oxygen concentrator. We are almost set up for blood transfusion.
But the woman is already dead, so what use is that to her now, I ask?