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Eight Women Stranded in Usafi Park After Giving Birth During Lockdown

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Stella Nakanwagi, who gave birth to a bouncing baby girl three days ago, was selling onions in Owino Market but used up her capital in the first week of the lockdown and decided to move to Usafi Taxi Park from Wandegeya after failing to pay her rent.
Irene Mirembe and her baby stranded at Usafi Market Taxi Park

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At least eight women, who gave birth during the period when Uganda was in lockdown, are stranded at Usafi Taxi Park. The women gave birth on different dates between March 28 and June 2, this year.

During the time, there was no public transport and the women could not travel to their homes. The ban on public transport was declared in March as one of the measures to control the spread of coronavirus disease. No vehicle was allowed on the road, except those sanctioned by the Ministry of Works to transport essential staff from different offices within Kampala.

Mirembe Irene was the first woman to give birth among the women who sought refuge in Usafi Market. Mirembe, who hails from Fort portal delivered through C-Section, two months ago. Her husband is a Boda-boda rider and one of those affected heavily by the ban on public transport.

//Cue in; “Nazaalira Kawempe…

Cue out…yali azze”//

Stella Nakanwagi, who gave birth to a bouncing baby girl three days ago, was selling onions in Owino Market but used up her capital in the first week of the lockdown and decided to move to Usafi Taxi Park from Wandegeya after failing to pay her rent.

She said she notified Lt. Erisa Mukiibi Katende, the head of Security at Usafi Market, about the labour pains around 6 pm and was rushed to Kisenyi Health IV where she was transferred to Kawempe Referral hospital and delivered around 9 pm. 

//Cue in; “Amanya gange…

Cue out…nebitabuka kwekuvayo”//

Lt. Katende, says that the women started experiencing labour pains very late in the night and were helped to give birth from the park. They were later transported to Kisenyi Health IV, Kawempe and Mulago Referral hospitals for better management.

“Some would inform us early enough and we would mobilise for an Ambulance to take rush them to Kisenyi Health Centre while others were taken to Mulago hospital for specialized treatment. Some delivered normally while others through C- Section,” Katende said. 

He applauds the National COVID-19 Taskforce that responded in time to rush the mothers to hospitals.

//Cue in; “ebiseera ebisinga ebintu…

Cue out…bibadewo ekiro”//

The mothers currently occupy a single room that previously served as a store. Mirembe told URN that they go for some days without food and are in dire need of support.

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