By Nidal Chebbak
Fez – Yes, in the 21st century, women still give birth in the street. What a shame and what a slap on the face of humanity and human rights! At Morocco World News, we have closely followed the various incidents of the like where pregnant women went through the ordeal of giving birth in public places: streets, telephone booths, public bathrooms, garden, taxis and so on.
On Saturday, June 16, a new case was added to the long list. A pregnant woman was accompanied by her husband from Ouad Alouan village, to the health center of Bni Oulid, near Taounate province 40 km east of Fez. She was forced to give birth in the car after she waited more than two hours amid the total absence of any doctor or nurse. The hospital was basically empty and no service of any kind was provided.
A woman who was near the health center tried to help; seeking some officials of Bni Oulid to provide an ambulance for the pregnant woman, whose situation was getting worse, to take her to the Regional Hospital of Bni Oulid. Her effort were to no avail. This new case of neglect and carelessness resulted in the death of the newborn baby.
How can a fragile baby survive the unhealthy condition of a Mercedes 207 car, which usually transports people from and to Bni Oulid? And how can a mother not get the worst of diseases or even die in such circumstance? Who does really care about either of them anyway? Our health care system has literally reached the bottom and unfortunately, this woman and her baby will become just another number on the list just like the others. What a frustration!
The local committee of the Moroccan Association of Human Rights will organize a protest on Tuesday, June 19, to denounce the deteriorating health situation in the region, and the carelessness and irresponsibility of the supervisors on the health sector that led to the death of the fetus because of neglect and failure to provide assistance. The committee will also call for an investigation in the “heinous crime” and punish the manipulators and negligent of health rights of the citizens.
The committee recorded the existence of deterioration in health services due to lack of equipment and non-use of the available ones, in addition to the shortage of medicines, lack of emergency staff at night, absence of sound conditions for birth situations, as well as the status of the ambulance and the mobile medical unit.
The committee stresses the need to provide adequate and competent human resources in order to avoid more deaths in childbirth, and the development of the ambulance and the medical unit and put them at the disposal of the citizens.
One can only hope AGAIN that this will be the last case of neglect, that some change will occur and citizens’ voice and miseries will be heard. Citizens need more action from the government and civil society to secure their most basic rights: health rights.