BEmONC equips health care workers with much needed skills for quality service provision
Several months ago, Washington Omuya, the in-charge of Angata Nanyukie Dispensary in Samburu County, Kenya, was doing all he could to save the life of a mother suffering from birth related complications. “The mother had delivered at home, and the family got worried when she did not stop bleeding,” Washington recalls. When the Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) called him, Washington got into his ambulance and drove to the household, which is about five (5) kilometres from the facility.
Upon arrival, Washington examined both mother and baby and confirmed that the baby was healthy. He turned his attention to the mother. After a close examination, Washington realised that the mother was suffering from Post-Partum Haemorrage (PPH). The PPH was in itself caused by a retained placenta. They got into the ambulance and rushed to the dispensary where the mother was admitted.
“I had already been trained through the Uzazi Salama project, on Basic Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (BEmONC), so I was well equipped on handling the emergency,” confirms Washington. Washington started the mother on normal saline and oxytocin to try and expel the placenta. Despite this, he still had to insert his hand into the womb and manually remove the placenta. “I remember it disintegrating in my hands. I had never seen anything like it,” he recalls. To Washington, the training he received through the Uzazi Salama project equipped him with both the skill and the confidence to tackle birth related complications.
Washington admits that the battle to ensure women deliver in health facilities is far from over. “The home delivery cases at Angata Nanyukie are mainly due to challenges associated with getting to the health facility. The terrains are not easy, and women have to walk long distances to get to the facility. However, many now understand the importance of delivering in the facility due to the sensitisation and community health education they get from the CHVs,” the in-charge confirms.