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Michael's Son Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Jocelyn Sweet, Canada Oct 16, 2006
Health   Opinions


Michael's Son Maternal Health became faces, names, sounds and smells for me in 2003. Before then, it was a term that belonged to a long list of global challenges. During 2003 I lived in Ghana and worked for a newspaper. We included “Maternal Health” in another list, one of stories to tell.
In the rural Volta Region, a colleague and I spent a day with a young man named Michael. Three months earlier his wife, Beatrice, had died in child birth, leaving him a son and many questions. “Why?” made the top of that list. We took Michael with us to ask the area mid-wife, who cared for Beatrice, “Why?” Helena, 75, did not remember Beatrice specifically, one of countless births she’d attended in a 40 year career. Helena did not blame her training, available supplies, distance from the hospital or any other technical factors.
This experienced mid-wife says she believes women die in child birth as punishment for adultery. She says spirits see their mistakes and complicate labour, sometimes to the point of death. It is a simple matter of actions and consequences to Helena, something she can do nothing about. This is the knowledge guiding her village’s children into the world, and caring for their mothers.
Traditional mid-wives in rural Ghana use what their mother’s, mother’s, mother’s knew and rely on this inherited knowledge the way they rely on the traditional ways of cooking and tending gardens.
The medical doctors in the region believe Helena’s attitude, and those who share it, complicate matters by avoiding hospitals. The doctors think it might be out of fear, women who struggle in labour, like Beatrice, go to the hospital and very often do not return. This creates a deadly cycle according to doctors; women die because they arrive at the hospital too late, and they arrive at the hospital late because they know women who go there die. Beatrice died of internal bleeding. The doctor who met her at the hospital, who we also spoke with, says he could have saved her. Michael, and his son, will never know if he’s right.
He spoke with us, and we published this story, to raise awareness about the need for medical care for expectant mothers. It didn’t bring Beatrice back, but maybe we saved someone else. That’s what we could do for Michael’s son.



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Jocelyn Sweet

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The dialectic nature of the world
Bemoute serge Mario | Jan 4th, 2007
This is a permanent masterpiece that deserve to be present in the minds of both rural and urban people.The world is continuously facing cultural fight.With regard to this work , I think I reveal a cultural and religious issue that must be considered when dealing with people.Science and religion must unite for the world to be a living place.

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