By: Prossy Boona
I was pleasantly surprised by a very touching message that I found in my in box this week and with permission from the sender I will share about it here.
I was messaged by a person whose life I had touched tremendously in the early 2000s, when I was still a student at Makerere University, but had forgotten all about it.
Fifteen years back, around 2003, I had a sick relative in mulago, ward six, so I decided to pass by and check on them, but as I was moving I saw a young woman in agonizing labour pain, for a moment I first looked away thinking that’s it the usual pain of labour.
However I over heard other people around her saying that “kanyabo, tekayina ayamba” I came close to her, surprisingly she was a fellow campuser (University Student) that I had usually seen around the faculty of arts while heavily pregnant, I had however not recognized her due to the fact that she had turned blue black as a result of being in pain for over three days none stop.
I approached her and asked her why she is on the flour but not in the labour ward, her answer left me crying, this lady whose name I can’t say for obvious reasons, relayed it to me that, she hard no money to be in the better place and she had come to Mulago expecting free medical service, which she hadn’t accessed yet.
She went on to narrate to me that the doctor on duty had checked and assured her, that she won’t be able to give birth naturally, except through caesarian section, and he had asked her to give him fifty thousand shillings for this, which she didn’t have.
So I went on to inquire from her, how she could carry a pregnancy full term with out financially preparing for what was to come, she simply sobbed more and said that she didn’t have a way of getting the finances, for the man who had impregnated her asked her to abort, when refused he abandoned her, and out of shame she had stopped visiting her home, before the pregnancy became visible.
Hoping that she would get free services in Mulago, but alas, even the doctor in Mulago has assured her that she will die in labour, if she can’t raise fifty thousand for an operation, I pulled out all the money that I had at that time, which was more than one hundred thousand and gave it to her.
But because at that time, Mobile phones were not as rampant as today, she didn’t have one and so I didn’t get her contact, I therefore lost touch with her, until this week when I got a message in my inbox, after she had got me here on facebook.
Anyway cutting the story short, she gave birth after paying the doctor fifty thousand and getting the operation done, the baby girl, who is now fifteen years was named Boonabana, after me, even though she is from Eastern Uganda.
I was so pleased by the fact this brave mother went on with her education after registering for a dead year, she went on and finished her first degree and moved to Europe with her daughter and she got a second one in public health, as a result of this experience, she has become an advocate for health rights.
While reading her message, I shed a tear, one due to the fact that I had touched her life in a way that she will never forget, but also I was reminded of the inhuman ways that women are treated in public hospitals.
I have been asking myself, why we all choose to do jobs that we are all not passionate about, but just to earn a living, for how could a doctor who swears an oath to be a life saver instead become a money maker first, how does he manage to live with it, after letting people die because they can’t afford to pay him.
Anyway I will add on this story of my own experience with doctors, lawyers, police men and even fellow activists, for we have been short changed in one way or another.
As for my friend, I am so proud that I touched your life and so proud of what you have become.
Till next Sunday, cheers.