FRANCIS AND ELISABETH
Francis with his son Goodwill and his daughter Solange in front of their home. They lost their mom and wife Elisabeth during childbirth due to labor complications.
We met with the husband of Elisabeth, Francis in their home in the forest about 15 km from the closest village. When his wife was pregnant she received only one pre-natal visit and was never made aware that her public scare would have led to a mandatory caesarean operation. Once labor had began they decided to stay at home, as many parents do, and try to deliver the child alone. Unfortunately the baby was in a breech position and could not be delivered without medical intervention. Since they did not have the money to pay for a taxi, they needed to borrow money from their neighbours / friends and as a result arrived at the medical centre in Mbangassina hours too late. Upon arrival it was quickly apparent to the Doctor on duty that emergency surgery was required and this would only be available in the better equipped hospital of Bafia, 15 km from there. By the time they had left on an ambulance it was 4 am , a whole 12 hours since the beginning of her labour, they had to travel down a similarly dilapidated road which again adds to the already considerable journey time. This time, however, it was to long and by the time the had reached the hospital the poor child's time had run out.
Marie Madeleine with her two boys in front of their home
I met with Marie Madeleine and two of her children outside their home. She has given birth to ten children in total, two of which were stillborn and an other tree perished at young ages from undiagnosed causes. When asked which diseases had ended her children's lives, she replied that she did not know due to not being able to afford medical examinations in the first place . This put her in the terrible position of being left only with the hope that they could get better without medical care. She tells me that she wishes she had the money available to call a Doctor but without enough to even feed her family then how could she possibly afford this?