“보건소에 가서 애를 낳아야 한다는 것을 몰랐어요. 장모 집에 도착했을 때, 그녀는 이미 의식을 잃은 상태였죠…….”
부르키나 파소의 수도 와가두구(Ouagadougou)에서 남쪽으로 100킬로미터 정도 떨어진 작은 마을. 사피아투스(Safiatou∙가명)는 남편과 함께 이 곳에서 가축을 기르며 살았다.
2007년 임신 당시 그녀의 건강은 양호한 편이었고, 출산을 위해 친정으로 잠시 거처를 옮긴 상태였다. 아내의 건강이 갑자기 악화됐다는 소식을 들은 남편 하미두(Hamidou)가 부랴부랴 장모 집에 도착했을 때는 시간이 너무 오래 흐른 뒤였다.
사피아투스는 의식이 거의 없는 상태에서 집에서 아이를 낳았다. 출산에는 성공했지만, 태반이 나오지 않은 상태에서 심각한 출혈이 발생했다. 주변의 도움으로 의료시설을 찾아 나섰으나, 보건소를 불과 4킬로미터 목전에 두고 그녀는 결국 숨졌다.
사피아투스의 이야기는 국제앰네스티 조사관이 부르키나 파소에서 심층 조사한 50여 개의 사례 중 하나다.
부르키나 파소 산모 사망에 대한 국제앰네스티의 캠페인은 1월 27일을 기점으로 시작될 예정이다
5 days to go: Burkina Faso Maternal Mortality Campaign Countdown
The story of Safiatou* is one of the 50 cases that Amnesty International’s researchers investigated in-depth. Safiatou died while trying to reach a health centre after delivering at home.
Safiatou, 26, married her cousin Hamidou when she was 14 years old. They lived in a village about 100km south of Ouagadougou, where they farmed livestock. She already had four children when she became pregnant again in 2007.
Safiatou’s husband told Amnesty International: “The day of her delivery, she was in good health and worked all afternoon as usual without any problem. She prepared tô [a local dish made from maize flour] for her children and went to get the hay for the animals. In the evening, when her labour began, she left for her mother’s home. Her mother came to warn me that she was not well, that we had to take her to the clinic. I do not have a motorcycle, so I had to go and get one. That made us lose time.” The husband added that he “did not know that she should have delivered at the clinic. When I came to fetch her at her mother’s house, she had lost consciousness.”
The husband borrowed a small motorcycle from his neighbour, but it did not have any fuel and the closest gas station was 10km away. They had to first push the motorcycle for 10 km… Safiatou ended up delivering at home, but there was placenta retention and serious haemorrhaging.
Her husband asked a friend to help him take Safiatou to the health center but she died on the motorcycle 4km away from the health centre.
Safiatou left five boys, aged 11, nine, seven and four, and the newborn baby.
* not real name
If you want to hear more on how Amnesty International will campaign so that women like Safiatou stop dying giving birth, watch this space tomorrow.