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How woman bled to death after delivery in maternity home run by NSCDC nurse

  • “95 percent of women in the village put to bed in this house,” nurse tells NHO

Late Ruth Okafo

ABUJA – A nurse with the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps’ (NSCDC) Training College Hospital in Sauka, along Airport Road, Abuja, may have got herself into trouble by carrying out a delivery that resulted in the death of an expectant mother in her home.

The nurse, Grace Momoh, told our Bureau Chief who visited her home,  which she uses as maternity Centre,  on the day the woman died that she had worked with the NSCDC as a nurse since 2005, and had practised nursing for over 24 years.

According to her sister, who helps her take delivery in the house, Momoh takes delivery of 95 percent of women in her bungalow house in Nuwalege community where the incident occurred on Monday 27th November 2017.

The deceased, Ruth Okafor, 25, had earlier put to bed to her first child in 2015 through cesarean session (CS) She registered for antenatal of her second baby at the Kuje  General Hospital. She was told by doctors and nurses at the hospital that she would also deliver the second child through CS.

Ruth, according to her husband, Chibuike Okafor, refused to disclose the information to her husband; she decided to give birth at the NSCDC nurse’ home which is about 150 metres from her house, with the hope her delivery would be natural.

Apart from the Kuje Hospital which could be about 20 kilometres from her Nuwalege residence, there are Nigerian Air Force Base Hospital and the NSCDC hospital which are both about a kilometer respectively to the nurse’ house.

Ruth, a hairdresser, began to bleed profusely after delivery, and was placed on a drip by Grace, who failed to refer her to a facility that could manage her condition. And, the woman later died.

“She didn’t die here. She was referred. It was at the hospital she died,” Grace said while fielding questions from Nigeria Health Online.

Grace’s “maternity” home in Sauka, Abuja

According to her, Ruth put to bed around 1am. She claimed she could take delivery at home as a nurse. “I am a nurse and I am a social worker. It is general nursing. We learnt everything in school,” she said.

Grace claims it was the first time a mother would die in her care since she came to the village in 2012.

“This is the first person. I don’t know the circumstances behind her death, because issues of bleeding, God has helped us severally to control. If you are into this profession, you meet cases. There are some you cannot do, you send them away immediately. And, there are some you can do with the help of God, not even by our power. So, cases of bleeding, God has helped us severally to control many to bring them under control and stop,” she said.

Grace who hails from Benue State and a widow said she had helped “uncountable” number of women deliver their babies. “Even after her own, someone has given birth here this morning. I was telling my pastor this evening when we closed, if it is issue of delivery, it is not by power, I know I learnt a little of it from school, but I know God specially gave me the gift. God has helped me to deliver so many women from where I was staying before in Gwagwalada to this place where I’m staying. God has helped me,” she boasted.

Her younger sister in the house was however curious to know if anyone would dare question doctors or nurses in certified hospitals should such a death occur there. “Had this case happened in the hospital, if you want to assume there is no hospital in Nuwalege because she put to bed in this house, who will I go and arrest, a doctor or who?,” she queried this newspaper.

She went on: “95 percent of women in the village put to bed in this house. She often helps them. Some put to bed, they don’t have money to pay. Even me, I have witnessed many of these here. If you people should come and ask any question, you should think twice. Is it because this one is in the house here?

The nurse interrupted her: “There are many nurses in this Nuwalege that are conducting delivery in the house. It is just unfortunate that this one happened. And, only God knows the source. But, humanly speaking, I tried my best as an experienced nurse. I tried my best with prayers and all I could do.

Meanwhile, Okafor, 35, and a dealer in air conditioning products, said he married his wife in 2013. He lamented that his wife failed to let him know she was to deliver through operation.

“My wife was a very good wife to me. I love her very well, and she loved me. She gave birth to my first child, a boy in 2015 through operation. I thank God that my wife was alive that time. I don’t even understand why my wife would do this to me. Anything they told her in the hospital, she would not tell me. If doctor told her anything, she would not tell me.

Ruth Okafo and husband Chibuike

“Last Wednesday, I took my wife to Kuje General hospital because she said she was weak and was always vomiting. I told the doctor to check my wife very well because I didn’t know what was happening. The doctor said it was labour. They asked me to stay outside while they conduct check on her. She didn’t tell me that doctor told her she would put to bed through operation.

“When we got home, she said she would go to this woman’s house to deliver. I resisted and said she should go to Kuje General Hospital where there would be attended to by  skilled personnel with quality equipment to help her deliver. She insisted she would go to this woman’s house.

“My wife put to bed at 1am. I asked her if she was ok, she said there was no problem. I came back home and lay on the bed with my little son, with the hope my wife and my baby, a girl, would be discharged later that day. After three hours, someone came to my house and started knocking that I should come that something was happening.

“I went there and saw the nurse giving my wife drip, and blood was gushing out. I said madam, what are you going to do? She said I should not worry that everything would be fine. I looked at my wife bleeding and her eyes were changing as if she was about to die. She was shaking. I said madam, wait, let me go and look for motor and take my wife to the hospital. I called my neighbour who has a car. He brought the car and we took my wife to Kuje General Hospital. My wife died five minutes after we got there.

“Then, a nurse who earlier attended to her at the hospital when I took her there last week said did I not tell your wife to come and do operation to deliver her baby? I replied the nurse that she didn’t tell  me anything. From there, they took my wife to Wuse General Hospital to put her in the mortuary. And, I went to give my new born baby to my friend’s wife to look after for me.”

Okafor said the body of his wife would be taken to Anambra state, where they both hailed from, on Wednesday 29th November 2017 for burial.

The deceased was survived by her parents.

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