A famous woman to many in her home village in Kimokowua in Tanzania was Anna an old woman. Whenever women especially young women (child mothers) got into labor pain, Anna was the woman most women in the village looked for.  

She had no professional skills and knowledge in midwifery. She was illiterate. An unskilled traditional birth attendant. Anna took charge in what she practiced and with so much confidence.

Many women and child mothers visited by her in their homes were mostly in labor pain. They trusted her work and most of them did not attend any hospital or clinic for antenatal checks and advice.

One of her clients was Sambeke’s wife. she was expecting her first born. Anna had visited her to help her like she did to others. She used her hands to tell the position of the child in a womb. Sambeke’s wife was in labor for too long until Anna could be seen worried and troubled. She did not give in to say she couldn’t help her.  Anna kept on insisting that she will deliver any time soon. Sambeke’s wife had started becoming weak every minute of the long waiting.  

She was taken to a nearby dispensary which was a few meters from their home.  When I learned of what was going on I decided to check on Sambeke’s wife condition. She looked quite weak and needed a professional to attend to her. The situation was getting out of hand. A nurse in-charge advised Sambeke to take his wife to a hospital that had better facilities for help. Every time he tried to take his wife, Anna gave him hope that all was well. I thought how terrible it will be like to loose the young woman in such a situation. I talked to Anna to let go Sambeke’s wife to a better facility but she was very adamant.

I thought of what to do next. I bought Anna two kilograms of sugar in a nearby shop as an appreciation to her effort.  I then urged her to let Sambeke take his wife to hospital. Anna agreed. This was just in time for her operation through caesarean section. Sambeke’s wife delivered a baby boy.

Although traditional midwifery practice has been practiced for so long it is not always the safest way out; as in the case of Sambeke’s wife who represents many women who escape death narrowly. I love some of our traditions and culture but not when it live costing. Like in the case of Sambeke’s wife who narrowly escaped death by Anna heading to my advice.

Female Genital Mutilation ((FGM) is another reasons for reproductive health problems /complications that face women in my community and country Tanzania. Most women from the Indigenous / Pastoralist communities undergo FGM.  FGM narrows the delivery passage of most women. These complications arising from FGM have caused deaths that many that have gone unreported.

Women like Anna also risk contracting diseases due lack of protective measures. They mainly use bare hands when delivering women although they are advised not to do so by community health officers. I plan to organize training for traditional birth attendants who have not been trained.

 

 

This post was submitted in response to Share Your Story On Any Topic.

Comments

 

RoseMary my dear

I am touched by your gesture of kindness. That act of offering a gift to Anna saved the life of the lady and her baby.

Change can be one of the most difficult thing a person can face, the fear of the unknown is one of the reasons why many still hold into our sometimes very dangerous traditions.

We need to educate our communities on the advantages of medical sciences and how much it can preserve lives.

If our local leaders can also educated, it will facilitate the transition from these practices to modern medical practices.

We still have genital mutilation, breast ironing etc in some areas in Cameroon and thank God for phenomenal sisters here like Leina Yvonne who are speaking out against such!

Keep up in your community until your voice and acts of kindness resound everywhere!

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best  you can ever be is YOURSELF! 

Leila Kigha

Dear Kariz,

Am very grateful and happy to connect with you. Thanks a lot for the comments. Yes,like you mentioned change is one very difficult thing a person can face. I agree with you on education for our people especially the leaders to embrace modern medical science to avoid unfortunate situations such as Sambeke's wife

I appreciate the comparison you made between some parts of Cameroon and other African countries, that practice such traditions. FGM and breast ironing should not be practiced because they are harmful. That's why the work of  wonderful women like Leina Yvonne is very important in our communities. Thanks a lot for recognizing the work of such an important woman.

Thanks a lot Kariz and warmest regards,

Rosemary.  . 

Dear Rosemary,

I read your story with a lot concern knowing that this is what happen in most of our african communities.

It takes someone like you with a different voice to highlight some of these old traditional customs. we are not saying they are bad as some of these practices have been the only solutions for many centuries in our cultures

But what we have to now understand, is fact that with the advent of modern day medical practices we have the voice and the intelect to help educate our people which is exactly what you are doing. You go girl! your effeorts will not be wasted

Cheers 

Stelz

Dear Stelz,

Am very happy to connect with you and appreciate the comments.You are absolutely right. Most of these traditional practices have been there for ages and they were the only available solutions then. We can change them when they affect lives.

We hope to see better, positive results in the near future.

Thanks a lot Stelz.

Dear Stelz,

Am very happy to connect with you and appreciate the comments.You are absolutely right. Most of these traditional practices have been there for ages and they were the only available solutions then. We can change them when they affect lives.

We hope to see better, positive results in the near future.

Thanks a lot Stelz.

Warmest regards,

Rosemary.