Over 100 pregnant women affected by the August 14 mudslide benefitted from a full antenatal screening and ultrasound scan at the Planned Parenthood Association Sierra Leone (PPASL) hospital at Wesley Street, with support from UNFPA.
Several issues came up during the antenatal testing as some women with critical conditions were admitted immediately after their check-up. One of them had already lost her baby with others asked to come for follow-up care.
Tatiana Ro Coker, a nurse at the Faith Malama Community Health Post (CHP), in Lumley, said, that if it wasn’t for the for the timely intervention of UNFPA Sierra Leone, the chances of affected pregnant women to deliver normally would have been slim.
The temporary health care centre was constructed to treat pregnant women and other survivors suffering from injuries and other health conditions. “Every morning when I wake up, I would rush to the tent to observe them. Some of them were complaining of migraines and Edema – swollen feet and ankles,” said Nurse Coker.
Coker commented that during the flooding and landslide it is possible that some women may have hit their stomach on stones or sticks, which she says might affect their babies, but with the support from UNFPA, “it will help us to know the status of the fetus.”
Fatmata Turay who is five months’ pregnant, had never been to a hospital or clinic for antenatal care. She used to live at the top of the Pentagon Camp in Lumley, the empty lot where Fatmata’s former house was located is clearly visible. “Every morning when I wake up, I can see the empty space which makes me just burst into tears,” she said.
Fatmata and her husband survived the flooding because they spent the night at a new two-bedroom house they are constructing. “It was too late to return home. We had worked all day, breaking stones and making blocks. We were tired, so my husband and I decided to sleep at the construction site,” she explained.
She lost 19 members of family members who were washed away by the devastating floods and landslides. They were unable to identify some of their bodies because they were badly damaged. “We found a few body parts missing and other bodies we could not watch two times,” she sobbed.
By Zainab Joaqua
October Friday 27, 2017.