Madam Chair Oheneyere Gifty Aunti, Her Excellency Mrs. Rebecca Akuffo Addo, The First Lady of the Republic of Ghana, The Executive Director Center for Constitutional Order, Representative United Nation Population Fund, Media, Volunteers, Distinguished Guest Ladies and Gentlemen……
I am a mother of one, still under 30years old and have suffered under the fatal and cruel menace of the pregnancy disorder Preeclampisa and Eclampsia. Twice my husband and I have had to bury our two sons. My own life has been at risk because of this disease. I say we cannot and will not go through this anymore for the fear and mental anguish is unbearable.
I suffered the condition of Eclampsia with my first pregnancy at 27 weeks in the month of October 2012. As a newly married couple, we were looking forward to been parents and having our first child, who per the scan was a girl but only came out to be a boy.
I was Ignorant to the existence of the disease Preeclampsia, even though I had been attending antenatal at a private hospital.
On the fateful day of 5th of October 2012 I passed out and became unconscious around 2:00am at dawn, because my blood pressure skyrocketed and rose to 240/180. I know not what happened but I almost died and the only way to save my life was to deliver the premature baby through an Emergency Caesarean Section.
It was my husband who saw it all and carried me to the hospital, oh how he suffered………
So tiny and undeveloped was our under 1kg baby boy not ready to face the outside world, that he died after 8 days because of Respiratory Failure. His death was so painful because I had held and bath this tiny baby for three days, I recall his tiny body and face and, on the day, when I last saw him, I knew, I felt our son was suffering and was pleading with me to let him go. Such suffering in his eyes I could not stand.
His Loss broke us down mentally and physically; for he was our first child, the fruit of our love as a newly married couple. Words cannot describe the loss but we sailed through and was blessed 6 months later with the conception of our baby girl who is now 4 yrs. She was delivered in Dallas Texas United States of America nearly full term at 37 weeks after 6 months Antenatal in Ghana. Because for her the onset of Preeclampsia delayed and began around 34 weeks.
Fast forward 2017, I suffer this same loss with my 2nd son who would have been the 3rd born of my children.
This time it is the condition of Preeclampsia which killed my son, I still do not understand scientifically how and why my almost 28 week’s years old boy could just die in my womb.
On another fateful day in March 2017, the fetal heartbeat of my baby could not be felt by the nurses during their routine check. My blood pressure remained high at 150/100 and to make matters worse I had to wait two days more, two more days to get the dead fetus out.
Oh, such pain I had to go through with no compensation of a baby to heal my wounds.
As I laid down in the theater/ Delivery room that day, as I tried to calm my mental agony and fears I said to myself
“No No, I will not go through this again, this is supposedly my last chance according to science, three caesarean section with one surviving child, this was seemingly the final one to close the baby making deal, so Why this again…………!!
Though, this is not my dream, and a painful one as such, I know not what to do, for as a woman I desire more children but I fear, I fear the cold ice of death caused by Preeclampsia may come my way again if I try to conceive because now I am considered high risk………………….
Madam Chair, there is a popular saying that:
“We live as if we will never die and we die as if we never lived”.
But I beg to ask:
“Why should we die because we want to give life” & Why should we die when we want a chance at life”? Yes! why should a woman die because she wants to give life, why should a baby die when he/she wants a chance at life?
Madam Chair, this is not my story alone. It is the story of many women and families.
I am victim, many women are victims and any woman can be a victim. The numbers are alarming for concern and too many lives are taken or seriously affected by this Pregnancy Disease Preeclampsia, underscoring the importance of symptom recognition and timely and effective response by trained health care workers.
It is for this reason that we highlight our support today to the worldwide initiative to raise awareness of Preeclampsia and its global impact on the lives of mothers, babies and families so as to bring the fatal stings of this disease to its knees.
And this is my humble Submission….
Koiwah Koi-Larbi Ofosuapea (Mrs.)
(Project lead, Ghana Action on Preeclampsia)