Nurat, 17 is the typical happening babe on the Streets of Agarau, Lagos Island until she got pregnant and had to lie low from public scorn. Oblivious of signs of labour, just a little stomach discomfort, Nurat visited the neighborhood birth attendant, Aunty Fatty, for possible herbal concoction.
On reaching home, she quietly gulped the black liquid and within minutes got relieved of the pain and was able to get some sleep
Past about midnight, Nurat said, she felt nature pressed and visited the latrine and poop, within twinkle, a tiny little boy came out into the dingy latrine.
Shocked in disbelief, Nurat screamed and her older sister Bintu alongside some neighbours, came to the rescue.
The tiny boy was rescued presumably “safe” and was cleaned up by an “experienced” older woman in the compound.
No one thought anything dangerous could happen until second day of delivery when Nurat expressed concern that the baby was had just been sleeping and making grunting sound. She complained that the boy was looking pale in colour while she was aching all over.
Two hours after arriving the health centre, the baby laid dead. Nurat herself was admitted into the intensive care unit for sepsis infection.
Speaking recently at a media round-table put together by Mamaye Evidence for Action, Dr. Olawoyin Imoisili, Reproductive Health Officer, Lagos State, described sepsis as a life-threatening condition in which the body tends to fight a collective severe infection that has spread through the blood stream.
According to Imoisili, sepsis is an illness that can develop I’m some pregnant women as well as women who have recently delivered a baby or babies.
She noted also that a new born can equally develop sepsis referred to as neonatal sepsis.
Explaining circumstances that can lead to the illness which is sometimes referred to as “blood poisoning “, Imoisili said, “sepsis can result from an infection anywhere in the body such as pneumonia, urinary tract infection amongst others”, said Imoisili.
“In addition, sepsis can result from miscarriages (spontaneous or induced abortion) especially outside health facilities, instructed labour or labour that stops progressing, prolonged labour between the water breaking and baby’s birth among others”, said Imoisili.
She cautioned pregnant women to always take antenatal care seriously at registered health facilities to avoid bacterial or viral infections that are often occurring due compromised immune system at such period of pregnancy.,
Noting that the women who are most at risk include those whose pregnancy are threatened, women whose immune system are not functioning properly due to medical condition such as HIV/AIDS, women younger than 25 and than 40 at first delivery, those presenting with placenta previa as well as those who undergo invasive examinations during pregnancy amongst others.
Some of the identifiable symptoms that can indicate presence of sepsis notes Imoisili are: fast breathing, faster heart beat, changes in blood pressure, fever, chills, sweating heavily immediately after birth, pains, dizziness or feel of light head.
Observing cleanliness and hygiene are two key conditions needed to keep infections away during pregnancy.
“Similarly, It is very important that a pregnant woman cleans up after each use of the bathroom from front to back ie from the vagina to the rectum to avoid spread of bacteria from faeces. So, also is it advisable to wash with soap after each of the bathroom/toilet”, said Imoisili.