Kenya: The UBT kit saves mother from postpartum hemorrhage in Migory County

When Josephine* started experiencing labor pains for their last born daughter, her husband quickly suggested that they should leave to the hospital before it was too late. Josephine’s husband shared with us the horrific experience his wife went through during her last delivery which nearly cost Josephine’s life.

Josephine is a 39 years old mother, a resident of Kamagambo in the Migori County. Josephine shared her story about her past deliveries as a mother of 8 children, 5 healthy boys and 3 healthy girls with her youngest being only four months old. In the past, Josephine had never gave birth in a hospital specialising in maternal care. During her previous antenatal care visits, she preferred being attended to by the village midwives (TBAs) until her third delivery where she bled disproportionately. On this occasion, Josephine’s husband had rushed her to the nearby health center where Josephine could receive help. Since then, her husband decided to avoid risking complications and accompanied his wife every time to give birth at the Rongo Sub County Hospital. As a result, Josephine’s following five delivery were done safely in the hospital specialising in maternal care.

However, Josephine’s last delivery did not go well. When Josephine arrived at the Rongo Sub-County Hospital, the mother was informed the baby would not arrive before the next hour. Josephine tried to pass the time by singing and strolling. Josephine was hopeful at the idea of holding her beautiful baby but unexpectedly began bleeding .

The nurse taking care of Josephine shared with us her shock and fear over losing the mother after the baby was born. The nurse mentioned it had happened to her before and she was unwilling to take any chances. The nurse recalls calling for help and using the UBT kit and NASG as an effective emergency method to treat postpartum hemorrhage.

The UBT is a medical device that can be used to treat postpartum hemorrhage when the mother is unresponsive to uterine acting drugs, evacuation or other primary intervention. The UBT kit uses a condom inserted into the uterine cavity using a catheter and then inflated with water. The balloon applies pressure to the walls of the uterus to stop excessive bleeding.

Josephine recalls: “I saw the nurse and the doctor inserting something through my vagina that I had never seen or had of before, it was in different parts but still I couldn’t tell what it was since I was unconscious. The nurse told me that I had bled a lot and somehow the bleeding had not stopped and something had to be done, at this point my husband who was very worried was asked to leave the room.

So many things crossed my mind in a minute, I thought of our situation back home , who would take care of my children if I past away. I asked God to let me live to continue seeing my children grow when they were so young and thought I was dreaming what was happening to me.’’

Josephine says she could have not imagined the children’s life without her. Her husband was a carpenter in the nearby Centre and the family’s income was not consistent enough to guarantee a better future for her children.

Story provided by KMET

*The names have been changed for anonymity