“My name is Awino. I am a new young mother from Tororo. During pregnancy I did not have big expectations nor great imaginations about the baby I was carrying.

I had an abdominal scan at 3 months and the scan was normal. Later I delivered normally when the baby was term. Unfortunately or fortunately I never set eyes on my baby. The nurse handed the baby to my mother and referred us to Mbale Regional referral Hospital saying she was not sure what would happen. My mother says she did not know what would happen too and left the situation in the hands of God.

I actually did not know what was wrong with the baby because by the time I saw her the doctors had already covered her. They explained to me that the survival of children with that condition (gastroschisis) was not good. At that time there were two other babies on the ward with the same condition and they both died later.

Today as I go home, I am happy, although I do not know how to express it well. My girl is called Kathy Linda after two of the doctors who worked on her, because this is their baby. If it were not for them and the neonatal team my baby would be dead.”

Awino’s baby girl was born with a condition called gastroschisis, where all the intestines are outside of the body. It is a challenging condition to manage, especially in our setting. We were so happy to be able to send Awino’s baby home and are still seeing her in clinic and she is doing so well! We are so grateful for everyone who helped in the care of this baby and hope that we see more babies with this condition survive.

January 2018