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Birthrights
Lolli: 'I cried when my wife died'
His wife died on the way to hospital after he had spent three-and-a-half hours looking for a vehicle to take her there.
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2011 13:55
Lolli Ibrahim's wife died on the way to the hospital [Colin Crowley/Save the Children]

"I had three wives, but one died so now I have two.

My wife Mariamu died eight months and three days ago. She was 37 years old. Even before her pregnancy my wife suffered from pain in her heart.

His baby died at 36 days old
[Colin Crowley/Save the Children]

One day, it was a Sunday, she packed her bags ready to go to the hospital to give birth because she was overdue to give birth. She was in her 10th month of pregnancy. It was about 4pm that she went into labour.

She gave birth without any problems but after the birth she had a pain in her heart. It was then that the complications started. I went to see what had happened and the midwife told me there was a problem. She asked for me to get Mariamu some milk so I went off to find some and then gave it to her. This was all happening while she was having these problems. It was very complicated, very difficult. The midwife went off to find some medicines. I doubt I could have done anything else myself.

I asked the midwife: 'Should she be evacuated to Matarneye hospital?' She agreed and gave me a referral paper and told me to look for a vehicle so my wife could be taken to the district hospital. This was about seven o'clock in the evening. We went to look for a vehicle but couldn't find one. By 10.30pm we had found one. The midwife had asked the hospital for an ambulance but they didn't have the resources to send one.

After the birth, things got worse. On the route, six kilometres from our village, we broke down, we ran out of petrol. Luckily we had some petrol in the back of the vehicle so we filled the tank up. It was then that I noticed that my wife was already dead. But anyway, we continued, we arrived in the following village. We could see that my wife had died but even so I decided that we should go on to the hospital. The midwife confirmed my wife had died. We then went back to my house - by the time we got back to the house it was 12.30.

After my wife's funeral my parents-in-law took my baby daughter. They don't live far from here. Before leaving her I bought some cartons of milk so the small child could be fed. When the two cartons were finished I bought more cartons of milk. When these were finished, unfortunately I couldn't find any more milk. I had to go to Zinder to try and find more milk but during this time the child got sick - she had not suffered any illness before this. After the cartons of milk finished they gave her milk from another woman - but she wasn't used to drinking this milk, she was used to milk from cartons. At 36 days old she died.

I cried a lot after Mariamu died. I went four days without sleeping. I'm now much thinner. Life with her was good, there were no problems."

Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world. Crop failures, fluctuating prices, livestock diseases and poor transport networks make life in rural areas particularly difficult.

Click here for more on Save the Children's work in Niger.

Source:
Save the Children
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