2nd June 2023
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Udier expectant mothers trek to Ethiopia to access treatment

Author: Charles Wote | Published: Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Puot Leng Bidit midwife at Udier PHCC. Credit: Aidah Khamis Woja/ICRC

Expectant mothers in Udier of Longichuk County, Upper Nile State, walk for days to access health services in Maban and western Gambella region of Ethiopia, a healthcare worker has said.

Puot Leng Bidit, a ICRC trained male midwife at Udier Primary Health care center stated that in Udier, patients who have complications spend about three days walking to Maban.

Puot added that some expectant mothers trek to neighboring Ethiopian regional capital, Gambela  – a journey that lasts for about seven days.

This involves carrying some patients with makeshift stretchers, mostly made of two poles and a blanket….and it is carried by four people.

With the help of two traditional birth attendants, in October alone, Leng handled seven life-threatening abortion cases, 56 deliveries, 264 antenatal care as well as screening of expectant mothers against other diseases.

“It is very difficult when I get a complicated case, nowhere to refer her because the road is already blocked by the water and full of water. When the case is already complicated or deteriorated, then I inform the family to take her by hand,” he explained to Eye Radio.

According to a health worker at Udier Primary Health care center, ICRC that is running the health center there doesn’t airlift or treat expectant mothers.

He says ICRC only treats wounded patients. “This is very difficult for me because ICRC does not accept shifting such people except wounded patients only.”

For his part, Taidor Tut Chuol, Udier Primary Health Care Center supervisor, says sometimes they only give advice to expectant mothers with complicated cases.

“First, we investigate the story of the current pregnancy and previous delivery of the rest of the children. If there were difficulties in her previous pregnancy, we always advise her to go where she can deliver, places with good hospitals and good healthcare like Maban or Ethiopia,” said Taidor.

“We don’t want problems to happen here because we normally examine pregnancy complications and make the decision to refer her before she delivers here. This is how we are solving the problem here.”

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