MBALE: Chaos as Expectant Mother Dies at Hands of Traditional Birth Attendant

By Weswa Ronnie




The territorial Police in Mbale district is investigating how a 27 year old expectant woman died at the hands of a traditional birth attendant.


The deceased is known as Brenda Namakoye from Nasenyi village, Butaleja district.


The incident happened on Friday, 10th November, 2023 at Luyekha village, Bushikori Parish, Bungokho Sub County in Mbale district.


Rogers Taitika, the Elgon region police spokesperson says that Namakoye was taken to Kakai Florence, 60 year old famous traditional birth attended in Mbale to give birth.


He said after reaching, the victim’s situation worsened due to over-bleeding prompting the relatives to take her to a nearby health center but unfortunately she died on the way.


After dying, her husband known as John Nambafu made an alarm which attracted nearby locals who came and dragged Kakai to Mbale Central Police Station where she is currently being detained under case number CRB 487/2023.


It was reported that the baby is still alive but the deceased’s body is currently at Mbale city mortuary for postmortem.


Nambafu while speaking to our reporter in an exclusive interview said that Kakai been working on his wife since she conceived making him trust her.


Meanwhile the same Nambafu is requesting the police not to be too harsh on the Traditional Birth Attendant saying, “Maybe it was God’s plan that my wife dies because she did not intend to kill her.”


“Not only us, but people in the area and surrounding districts like Manafwa, Bududa, Sironko and Butaleja have been coming to her and she attends to them well, but we don’t know why today things failed,” Mr. Nambafu said.


However, Robert Wandwasi, the Mbale district HIV focal person also doubling as health educator condemned the incident saying the law should take its course.


He said they have been using different media platforms like radios to sensitize expectant mothers and their husbands to always go to health facilities during time of birth but not remaining home or seeking services from traditional birth attendants.


Mr. Wandwasi said “It’s true the Mbale district health department works in together with these traditional birth attendants because they use them to refer those mothers who go there for deliveries to health facilities since some mothers over trust them.”


He adds that they discovered that some mothers are HIV positive so they fear to go to health facilities thinking that they will be tested and because of this fear they end up going to traditional birth attendants.


Asumin Nasike, the Mbale Resident District Commissioner says the law must take its course such that others can learn.


She says that they have registered some of such related cases but they used to lack evidence to arrest them since locals fear to come and give evidence.


“Local leaders still have work in sensitizing the masses about advantages of giving birth from health facilities such that they change their mindsets,” RDC Nasike said.


Rehema Nandutu and Samuel Mutulo both locals from the area urged the government to regulate these traditional birth attendants warning that mothers will continue dying from their shrines.


They said the government must ban all witchdoctors and traditional herbalists because they are playing lots of roles in the death of people and sacrificing children in Mbale district.


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