Midwives Matter: Spotlight on Oluwabunmi Ogungbe

When Oluwabunmi Ogungbe (Victoria) was a student working in a hospital in Nigeria, a young girl’s death had a profound effect on her—personally and professionally as a midwife. “The midwife told me that it was a case of septic abortion and she was brought to emergency unit … her condition wasn’t good.” There was an attitude, Victoria explains, amongst the hospital staff, that “the girl had done something bad.” Victoria says she initially felt the same. But she listened to the girl, who was just about her age. She began to understand the barriers this girl faced—in her relationships, from society, her lack of information about her own sexual and reproductive health. The girl died because she had little choice than to seek an unsafe abortion. “It changed me. I felt guilty. I knew she had more opportunities in the world; she had her whole life before her and just like me she had dreams; and it is just so painful that all that had to be taken away from her because society failed her.”