By Muhammed L Bojang
Mbama Care Foundation in collaboration with the ‘Gambian Women’s Lives Matters’ on Wednesday 23rd September, stage a peaceful protest calling for immediate answers from the Government of the Gambia on the high rate of the maternal mortality in the country.
Speaking on behalf of Mbama Care Foundation and Gambian Women’s Lives Matters, Ms Sally Jobe, said it is unfortunate that many women are losing their lives in labour.
Ms Jobe disclosed that more 60% of women who died during delivery is based on the Posmotem Haemorrhage also called PPH.
“This is when a woman has heavy bleeding after giving birth but usually happen even one day after giving birth but it can happen up to 12 weeks after having a baby. Approximately 1-5% have PPH,” Ms Jobe stated.
The activist highlighted the number of things that could be reversed at the health care system in the Gambia to save women. She asked the reason of voting for political leaders if they cannot protect the lives of the citizens.
“Gambian women are tired and our lives matter and we want to make sure the recurrence of maternal mortality should stop. We know nature has a course and people will die every day but it should not be the norm like a lifestyle, as a hype like something that is normal for women to get pregnant and die and if this keeps happening then what’s the point of getting married? We should stay in our homes and chill,” she remarked.
Ms Jobe called on the Government to feel the pain and suffering that they are facing In the country.
“We are sick and tired of dying at labour,” she lamented.
Ms Tida Bobo Kijera, a prominent and household name in the Gambian politics also joined the voices of the women on the protest.
Speaking to this reporter, Ms Kijera quoted a Mandinka proverb which says “if you see an elderly person putting on shoes going out, it is urgent”.
“You can see women of all ages come out to show our dissatisfaction, dismay and frustration to the Gambian people from the President of the Republic, the Minister of Health, Minister of Women’s Affairs to our families, relatives and the entire country and the rest of the world that we are not happy that our pregnant women are dying giving birth to their babies,” she pointed out.
Ms Kijera said the future is in the hands of women who are the core or centre of reproduction. They gave birth to Presidents, Doctors, Lawyers and Ministers and every developing country need its human resources, and the women dying at the childbirth is a very serious issue of great concern.
However, she expressed her disappointments at Dr Isatou Touray, the Vice President of The Gambia who was a renowned Women and Gender Activists for not standing up with the Gambian women in this crusade. She also said similar things about the First Lady of the Gambia, Madame Fatoumata Bah Barrow and the Minister of Women’s Affairs as they have not taken the matter seriously.
Ms Kijera also called on Gambian women to learn their lessons from politicians who use them as political tools cooking and dancing for them and if it comes to their welfare they always take a back seat.
Aji Maryam Ceesay, another activist raised concerns about the rising maternal mortality rate in the country.
“I am a woman and our lives matters,” Aji asserted.
She said no woman should die in labour which is the slogan that they are fighting for and want the Government to hear their cries.