Selina Fletcher, 30, recently gave birth to her third child. Though she’s illiterate, Selina knows that maternal health care in Ghana is free. So, when her contractions started, she and her best friend Sarah made their way to Korle Bu Hospital in Accra, the capital city of Ghana.
But she came unprepared. In Ghana there are things you need to bring with you when you give birth, or otherwise you must pay for them. These include a bottle of disinfectant, a hair net and a blanket to cover the bed. To pay for these, Sarah left Selina at hospital, and returned to their village to ask her family for money.
With the money secured, and with a nurse and midwife by her side, Selina gave birth to a little girl. She’s called Savina, after her grandmother. After the birth, mum and daughter rested for 24 hours in a ‘lying-in’ ward, and the midwife gave Selina advice on caring for her baby. Then, with friends and family at their side, Selina and Savina returned home – healthy and happy, having received free, professional care from trained health workers.
Selina’s story is why we must keep investing in international aid. To improve the free healthcare on offer (should you really have to buy your own disinfectant?!). And to ensure women stop dying through lack of access to free healthcare. 75 women in Ghana die in needlessly in pregnancy and childbirth each week. That’s 75 too many. The UK government needs to fulfil its commitment to spend 0.7% of national
income on overseas aid. This promise is a real chance for more women to receive life-saving health care during pregnancy.Join our call here!
Photos of Selina’s story can be seen in our pop up exhibition, currently in the window of 15 Cheap St. Why not walk by on your way through Bath!