By Halimatou Ceesay
In a startling revelation, the women in Kiang East settlement of Sarre Samba said there were no vehicles that would take women in labor to hospitals and they would often deliver on the donkey cart in the presence of their kids who usually drive the cart.
Mariatou Bah, the women leader of Kaabilo Baama, Kaabilo Faama, a local initiative that began four years ago to solve the road and vehicle nightmares, said the initiative started due to sufferings of women of Kiang East and because they could not bear the troubling sight of giving birth in front of their kids.
“Four years ago we had problems in terms of delivery because we do not have good roads, no vehicles to take the women to the hospitals when they are due to deliver and most of the women deliver at home”, she said.
She added that since they started the initiative they teach women how they can help each other to put an end to women delivering at home.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) officials headed by Lamin Camara communications Focal Point on Sunday led a team of journalists from the Network of Journalist on Reproductive Health, Population and Development to the Kaabilo Baama, Kaabilo Faama Initiative to see the wonderful job it is doing in the lives of women of Kiang East.
Mariatou said when UNFPA came, they were asked what their problems are and they told them they need health and income.
She said they were given money and they also teach them skills such as tie and dye and making soap.
She said now if a pregnant woman is due, they will call a vehicle to come and pick her up and take her to the hospital. She said they will also give the woman money to take care of herself and her needs and then pay back the money later. She added that women are also adhering to their advice and making sure that they go to the hospital during delivery, take their children when they are sick and go for antenatal care.
She said at first men reject family planning but after sensitising them, they became aware and are the very ones running the Kaabilo Faama to empower their women and reduce maternal mortality