Jackline Faustina several days ago was little known to the masses and she would not imagine that she would become the poster child of a broken health care system in Kenya.
On Sunday, September 20, the mother of three broke down in tears, narrating the pain and embarrassment she experienced after being forced to deliver on the tarmac outside the Pumwani Maternity Hospital.
The incident sparked a flurry of furious reactions countrywide following a video that surfaced online on Friday, September 18. It was narrated that security guards denied the expectant mother, who was braving excruciating labor pains, access into the facility.
She highlighted that she went into labor while she was alone in the house on Sunday, September 13.
“When my husband came later, he found me in a lot of pain so he ordered for a taxi and took me to Pumwani Hospital.
“When we got there, the staff declined to open the gate for us. We begged but they claimed they were on strike and could not open for us. I just gave birth right there,” she narrated.
Between bouts of tears, she vividly recalls the painful, dehumanising experience of trying to deliver the baby with little assistance and at the same time struggling to cover herself from the eyes of the bewildered onlookers.
“It was in the middle of the road and in front of many people. I tried covering the baby as well as myself since there were people around including men.
“I was also trying to shield the baby from falling and hitting the hard, uneven tarmac,” she tearfully narrates.
Faustina is a Tanzanian national who has lived in Kenya for many years and gave birth to all her three children while in the country.
Immediately after birth, she revealed that the child developed breathing complications and was vomiting. She was taken to the institution’s nursery and later discharged.
Nairobi Woman Representative, Esther Passaris, who visited their home, maintained that Pumwani staff acted swiftly in helping the mother.
“I believe Pumwani also acted very fast under the circumstances. The nurse could have been there in three minutes had there not been the surging crowd that scared her.
“A woman, if she is ready to give birth, she will give birth,” she stated.
Deputy Director of Medical Services at Nairobi Metropolitan Services Michael Oluga further asserted that it was the hospital staff who delivered the baby.
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