Wambui, a 32-year-old single mother who earned her living as a street hawker, was admitted to the hospital for pregnancy-related complications at 28 weeks. As her fever continued to rise, the staff decided to perform a hysterectomy. They discovered a catheter in her abdomen. Later, Wambui admitted she had elicited abortion services from a village quack. Already the mother of two children, she likely did not feel she could provide for another. The person started the abortion and then told her to go to the public hospital for completion of the procedure. Wambui had not initially offered this information due to the hostility of the nurses upon her arrival at the hospital. Despite the surgery, Wambui’s health continued to decline and she died after 10 days in intensive care.
Based in Nairobi, Kenya, the Ipas Africa Alliance for Women’s Reproductive Health and Rights works to reduce maternal deaths from unsafe abortion; to expand the availability of high-quality comprehensive abortion care; and to advocate for policies that advance women’s reproductive health and rights across the continent. Established by Ipas in 2000, the Africa Alliance works with partners in Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda.