THE PROBLEM – MATERNAL MORTALITY
Does it matter?
Whether 7 mothers die every hour or 1?
Whether 4, 000 wives perish a month or 1?
Whether 47,000 sisters are lost every year or 1?
To the boy whose mother bled to death (25% of all maternal deaths), the husband who watched his wife battle for her life from an infection and lose (17% of all maternal deaths), the girl helplessly looking on as her sister convulses and dies from hypertension in pregnancy (17% of all maternal deaths) or the friend watching as her friend dies from a miscarriage or botched abortion (11% of all maternal deaths), these numbers don’t matter.
THEY ARE JUST DEVASTATED BY THEIR LOSS!
Yet this same tales are told over and over again throughout Nigeria. Healthcare is the RIGHT of every Nigerian citizen but how many citizens consider their DUTY to make this health care possible?
Here in Lagos, only 4,000 voluntary blood donors are needed monthly to provide all the blood the state needs. Yet in a state of over 9 million inhabitants, this meagre number of donors cannot be achieved. Along the Lekki-Epe axis, between Mobil House and the outskirts of Epe, there is not one blood bank. Even if there was one, who would donate? How many pay taxes?
This situation is not about to change until enough people accept that we are all linked to one another. That means accepting that the death of any woman in pregnancy/childbirth, affects me whether I know her or not and an unborn child dying during a complication of pregnancy/childbirth or from an abortion affects you whether you know the child or not. How?
If we continue to watch from the sidelines, the same healthcare system that failed these women and unborn children could fail any one of us if we were ever faced with the same challenge. Who is sure for instance, of the outcome of being involved in a road traffic accident along the Lekki-Epe axis and needing emergency ambulance transportation and blood transfusion?
Without community participation at all levels in the provision of public services, the system invariably breaks down as accountability is not possible without participation. Haven’t we learnt from the breakdown of other institutions like PHCN, Railway, etc? Healthcare is no different!
THE SOLUTION – DHI LIFE LINK
The DHI Life Link (DLL) is a network of people who actively participate in making healthcare available to all through their collective selfless service. Members of DLL serve through various types of linkages with those in need:
Blood Link – Voluntary blood donors who regularly donate blood to save lives
Cash Link – Individuals who make regular donations to the projects of DLL.
Home Link – Families/single women, who open their homes to women in crises pregnancies in order to defend, support and nurture them.
Pal Link – Women who befriend and encourage other women throughout crises pregnancies and men who befriend the father of an unplanned-for-baby, mentoring and guiding him in learning to support the mother of his child.
Prayer Link – Spiritual leaders, individuals, families and/or groups that offer up regular prayers for DLL, its members, its projects and beneficiaries.
Professional Link – Professionals from all walks of life who donate their services to those in need through DLL. They include healthcare professionals, educationists, counsellors, employers of labour, businessmen, counsellors, lawyers, etc.
These various links are coordinated in every community at the DHI Life Centre, a blood bank for easy access to blood as well as the base for Mobile Emergency Obstetric Care Units. These are ambulances based at the blood banks, manned by personnel trained in emergency obstetric care and equipped with life-saving drugs and materials.
The first DHI Life Centre, planned for the Lekki-Epe axis, will cost 14 million naira.
TIRED OF POINTING FINGERS AT GOVERNMENT?
FIND YOUR PLACE IN THE SOLUTION!