Recently I went to the home of Mercy Benson. She is a 32-year-old mother who has 5 children and is currently 7 months pregnant. I was following up on her son Anthony who is 20 months old. Anthony is her youngest and he is often sick with a fever, probably due to malaria, since the family is quite poor and doesn't sleep under treated mosquito nets. A week ago, Mercy brought Anthony to the clinic for his fever and I gave her malaria medicine for Anthony to take for 3 days, twice a day. Anthony also often has diarrheal disease.
Staness is expecting her seventh child. Her first five children were born successfully at home with the help of a traditional birth attendant, but she almost died while giving birth to her sixth child that way. Staness developed complications that the TBA could not handle. She was very fortunate that an ambulance came in time and took her to the hospital. “I was gasping for my life,” she said. I spoke with Staness about the dangers of giving birth with unskilled assistance, and she told me she will never again give birth that way. She learned her lesson.