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Woman dies at Bakassi IDP camp in childbirth


The Internally-Displaced Persons (IDP) camp of Bakassi returnees at Government Secondary School, Akwa Ikot Eyo Edem, Akpabuyo Local Council of Cross River State, has recorded its first infant maternal death.

The victim is Mrs. Eno Asuquo Etim, who died during childbirth at the weekend but the baby, a boy, is alive.

The Camp Leader, Mr. Etim Okon Ene, regretted that the death could have been avoided if the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) had responded promptly to their calls as it was the first time a woman had died during childbirth in the camp since they came in 2013.


The camp leader told newsmen yesterday that the incident occurred when the woman, who already had two male children, went into labour around 9:00 p.m., and because of the heavy rain at the time, they had no means of taking her to the hospital and there were no emergency medical personnel around in the camp.

He said the SEMA was called to intervene in the situation several times but their calls were ignored hence “elderly women in the camp had to try to deliver the baby, which they succeeded, but complications arose and when the 38-year-old mother was rushed to the hospital the following morning, she died.”

“She died and we are now taking care of the baby. While she was under labour, we did not have any means to take her to the hospital.

She delivered the baby and it was the elderly mothers in the camp that attended to her during childbirth.

There was very heavy rain and we could not take her to the hospital that night. We took her to the hospital the following morning and she passed away unfortunately.”


Ene, who decried the absence of proper medical facilities and care for the displaced persons, said: “The health personnel are the ones taking care of us when we have minor ailments like headaches and body pains.

“But when the situation is very bad, we don’t have anybody to take care of us.

We cannot even afford to go to the hospital because we do not have money. Also, the health personnel only work morning till evening and go home.

They do not sleep with us. The incident happened around 9:00 p.m. The health personnel were not even there.

“This is the first time a woman under labour has died in the camp.”

The camp leader, therefore, urged the Federal Government to urgently and properly resettle people of Bakassi as they were under a lot of hardship in the camp.

Meanwhile, efforts to reach the SEMA Director-General, Mr. John Inaku, failed as his line was off network as at time of filling in this report.

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