Susan Enyobo,35, of Acogogwen Village, Adeknino Sub-county in Dokolo District died at the hands of a traditional birth attendant (TBA) on Monday night.
This is not what Mr Michael Eyoku, her husband, expected when he sought the services of his mother, Ms Erina Ayuru, to help his wife deliver.
Ms Ayuru, 79, has been a traditional birth attendant for more than 40 years.
Despite government banning TBAs in 2010, many women still seek their services. In Adeknino Sub-county, women prefer TBAs because they cannot travel long distances to health centres. According to local leaders, TBAs are cheaper than government health facilities.
It was Enyobo’s first time to seek the services. All her seven children had been born by caesarian section at Dokolo Health Centre IV.
Mr Samuel Onyinge, the deceased’s father, said he had earlier advised his son-in-law to take his wife to hospital.
“He did not listen. When my daughter was in labour, her husband brought his mother to help her deliver but during the birth, she started experiencing complications,” Mr Onyinge said on Tuesday.
“When they told me she gave birth normally, I then requested to talk to my daughter on phone but I was told to wait,” Mr Onyinge added.
“After a few minutes, I again pleaded with them to allow me talk to my daughter but they kept dodging. When I rang again, the phone was switched off.”
Enyobo had died of excessive bleeding. Police said relatives took the body to Awelo Health Centre III.
“When we received the information, we went to Awelo Health Centre, picked the body and took it to Dokolo Health Centre IV pending postmortem examination as investigations continue,” Mr Nelson Odongo, the officer-in-charge of Dokolo Central Police Station, said.
Mr Eugene Odongo, the district health education, said local leaders were directed to arrest anyone found helping a mother deliver.
Dr Richard Nam, a gynaecologist in Lira District, said a woman who has given birth for more than two times through C-section should not give birth naturally because the uterus would have become very thin to sustain the pressure during the birth. Dr Nam said it is only a woman who has given birth once by C-section that should give birth naturally.
He added that even when she attempts to give birth naturally, doctors should monitor her closely, and in the event that she fails to bear the pressure, then she would have to undergo C-section. “For the case of that woman who died in Dokolo District, it was a big mistake to allow her to give birth naturally because her uterus had become very thin, so it ruptured and she died of excessive internal bleeding,” Dr Nam added.