Panafrican News Agency

Pregnant women join ‘Women’s Lives Matter’ protest in The Gambia

Banjul, Gambia (PANA) – A large number of pregnant women Wednesday joined other women in a protest tagged ‘Women’s Lives Matter’ to express their dismay and concerns over the rise in maternal mortality rate in the country.

The demonstrators, comprising both men and women dressed in white T-shirts with inscription “No Woman Should Die in Labour”; and “Ministry of Health Protect Us”, among others, marched from the busy Westfield to Alliance Franco, 10km outside Banjul, chanting ‘Women’s Lives Matter.’

The Women’s Lives Matter campaign has been trending on social media – as tens of thousands of Gambians and sympathisers around the world joined in the social media campaign to change their profile to the slogan, and expressed their dismay on the Barrow-led administration over the rise in maternal deaths.

The protesters also chanted “Let’s make sure today be a turning point for this country, let’s make sure today be a turning point for our women”.

Sanna Marong, one of the organizers of the protest, described the rise in deaths of women during childbirth as a “sad situation”.

He pointed out that “there was a woman who gave birth to a set of twins at Bakau but she died due to low blood pressure”.

He noted that the protest was not for women only but also men as they needed to play a key role in stopping what he called ‘terrific situation in the healthcare sector.’

Another organizer, Ramatoulie Laobe, said “the rate of maternal death is getting higher compared to previous years”.

She believes that it is Allah who takes life, but sometimes doctors can be cruel, and that it is the responsibility of doctors to advise the women about the things they needed during pregnancy.

“We are eager to know the reason why the maternal maternity death of women is high,” she said but quickly pleaded with the Gambian government and the ministry of Health to work hand in hand to put a stop to the dilemma women faced during childbirth.

She attributed the situation to “lack of drugs or the doctors are the ones who are not performing their responsibility as expected”.

Kebba Njie urged the government to wake up and provide for the people’s needs. In his view, the health system is very poor and feared that if care was not taken, this would continue to occur.


-0-    PANA    MSS/RA   23Sept2020