We heard of Zainab before our trip to Sierra Leone in September 2016. She was 15 years old and 37 weeks pregnant. She lives in one of the districts of Port Loko with her partner’s family.
Six weeks later, when we arrived in Sierra Leone, Zainab had yet to go into labour, and had not been seen by a doctor. Local practice is to wait till labour commences before seeking medical, and even then assistance is usually not sought. At 43 weeks, this seemed a dangerous option for the young Zainab.
We visited Zainab’s village, together with Aberdeen Women’s Centre midwife Bernadette, and asked for permission from her community to take Zainab to AWC in Freetown. After two days of negotiations with three villages, we were finally given permission to take Zainab and her sister in law to AWC in Freetown.
Zainab, delivered her baby boy the following day via c-section and she and her healthy baby were returned to her family and community.
The wonderful news is that now everyone in Zainab’s village knows, and importantly, trusts the work of the Aberdeen Women Centre.
Zainab is featured in our SBS Dateline documentary. Please go to this link to watch the full documentary of Daughter of Sierra Leone.
Behind every woman at AWC is a story as compelling as those of the 2 Zainabs and Jakia, and they are the reason we have partnered with Freedom From Fistula and Aberdeen Women’s Centre to ensure their health and safety.