Die no more

“Sanu baby”

I can tell it’s her husband, I can always tell it’s her husband. There’s something beautiful about the way she addresses her husband. It’s the lilt of Hausa in her voice.

I think Hausa is the most romantic language, Have you heard young girls speak Hausa? The way it flows from their lips, the bell like sounds, the beauty of their tiny voices. Am I romanticizing Hausa? Perhaps I am, my junior secondary school years were spent in Northern Nigerian and I loved listening to girls who spoke Hausa.

The songs they sang during social nights still stay with me even when I have no idea what the words mean and I can barely remember the words they sang. We had a girl whose voice always made me feel mellow. She liked to sing a song about divided hearts, it’s the only song I know what it meant. She sang the English and Hausa versions of the song and I loved the idea of looking for someone to give the last quarter of my heart to.

I was trolling Facebook (as I usually do) and I saw her picture accompanied by RIP. She’d died in childbirth, her baby didn’t make it either. I typed RIP like everyone else and forgot about it. The next day I saw another picture, another school mate who’d died in child birth and her baby didn’t survive. Perhaps because the two deaths came so close together, people mentioned other school mates who’d died at childbirth and I couldn’t help crying a little.
In Nigeria, one woman in thirteen will die in childbirth… Think about it. Thirteen women will go to the hospital to have a baby and one of them will not come out. We’re not considering the women who give birth at home, churches, spiritual houses and with traditional birth attendants. We’re talking regular hospital births.

Many maternal mortalities are not even reported, so the one in thirteen statistic I just stated is not really the true value. Many women do not even have access to good health care in pregnancy, death in pregnancy is also seriously unreported. Malaria alone kills thousands of pregnant women, the anaemia caused by malaria can be deadly in normal people. In a malnourished pregnant woman, it is usually fatal.

Sometimes the best hospitals do not even offer better protection from maternal mortality, horrible tales abound of incompetence and nonchalance even in the most expensive and exclusive private hospitals in Nigeria. It’s not hard to see why many women chose to have their babies abroad where they have access to the best healthcare services no matter what it costs them. Some couples even have savings plans for having the children abroad.

One of the Millennium Development Goals is to reduce the maternal mortality rate by a third in 2015… This is 2015, nothing has changed. It seems like nothing will. Government policies that favour healthcare improvement should be made, access to adequate healthcare regardless of economic status, provision of quality healthcare facilities should be the priorities of incoming governments at all levels. Companies should focus on maternal health improvement programs as their Corporate Social Responsibilities. Telecom companies can sponsor modern maternities in rural communities, that will definitely touch more lives than signing B-list artistes as ambassadors and it’s more value for their money if you ask me. We should also embrace a litigation culture, if a woman dies through negligence and incompetence of the healthcare team… We should sue their pants off, there are many hungry lawyers trust me. I pray that in 2016 maternal mortality rate would have dropped a notch, the incoming government promised improved healthcare provision. I hope they keep their promise.

Me? I’m having my kids abroad



  1. It’s sad. An aunt of mine died in childbirth as well as her baby and i still picture her in my head cos i saw her corpse.

    Me? I am having my kids abroad, all of them


  2. “Me? I’m having my kids abroad”
    Mami… this last comment you made defeats the essence of HOPE that this beautiful post carries in it (if we make efforts to get it right). Are we no longer to hope and pray that our government starting from this new administration see to the improvement of our healthcare system? Are we no longer hopeful that sometime soon companies will focus on maternal health improvement programs as their CSR? That our litigation system is strengthened to also punish those whose negligence and incompetence cause the death of our sisters, wifes and mothers? Whats the point them? …guess we should all start making plans of having our kids abroad.
    Just trying to be objective…lol.

    Thank God you are back Mami… I missed you here; educating the world and instructing the ignorant!


  3. Mmeeehhhhhnnn.. When you mentioned that she died at child birth ehnn Otunne.. the thing Touch me no be small oh! I dont mean to sound Tribalistic.. But some of these Nothern children marry waaayyy too early.. and thats not cool at allzz.. I mean how is a child below 18 suppose to give birth.. I mean her organs are still developing for heaven sakes…. And there is female circumcision which some Tribes STILL practice (Someone tell them its almost 2016 biko).. Yoruba.. Igbo and Hausa inclusive.. Mehn Otunne… It is sad.. It is sad when a woman loses her life while attempting to give life to another.. Its like a swap.. and it Hurts me real bad.. there is a woman in my head who did.. it hurts… All in All Otunne.. Our Health safety is in our hands.. GOD protects us.. but then there is need for serious Anti-natal practices.. Exercising and simple measures of caution… I cant shout oh! whether a girl gets pregnant for me now (before I marry) or when my wife gets Pregnant for me.. Both are delivering abroad (last last na South Africa.. Ewo!! no wait!! i take that back biko.. There is still Xenophobia.. Last last na Ghana…) I cant lose my baby girl or my Child for no passive laid back reason…

    In other news.. See as you Turned Hausa into Indian language with all the sprinkles of romance in the 2nd paragraph.. heheh iFearTheeOh! How are you Otunne… Yyyyaaayyy the challenge is almost up ba?! aYam feeling Elated… race you till the end.. **Winks…


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