My name is Abubakar Mutwenge Malima. I am 66 years old and I live in Mayani village in Musoma Rural, Tanzania.

Five months ago, I lost my beloved wife, Ashura, who was trying to give birth to our sixth child.

Ashura and I had been married for 11 years, and we were blessed with five daughters. We had a happy life, taking care of our family and supporting each other.

Ashura always gave birth at home, and for the first five deliveries she did not have any problem. She planned to deliver the sixth baby at home, but this time she was not so lucky. Her labour pains began around 11am one morning, but when they had continued for 15 hours with no progress, I decided to take her to the regional hospital. Unfortunately it was past midnight and there was no transport available, so we had to wait till morning to get public transport to the hospital.

When we got to the hospital, Ashura was examined. They told me that she was dehydrated and had anaemia, therefore I had to organise for blood transfusion. A nurse accompanied me to the blood bank, where we got two pints of blood. When we returned to my wife’s bed was, I was told that she had passed away.

They took the body to mortuary where they opened her up and removed the dead baby. Outside the mortuary, I heard people say that this was not a good day because seven other women had died in the labour ward where my wife was admitted. It was also said that three other women in an adjacent ward had died of maternal health complications. So Ashura was one of 11 women who died while trying to give birth that day."

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