By Tolit Ivan and Goodluck Musinguzi- Gulu City
Gulu Regional Referral Hospital has successfully delivered a woman with an ectopic pregnancy, the first of its kind in Northern Uganda and the third in Uganda this year, 2023 according to Dr Richard Mugahi, Assistant Commissioner of Infants and Maternal Health Ministry of Health
An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that happens when a fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus, most commonly in the fallopian tube. The placenta attaches to the liver, fat, ovary or any part of the body.
The fallopian tube isn’t made to hold a growing embryo. This condition can lead to bleeding in the birth parent. An ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening condition that requires emergency treatment.
Scovia Aciro, aged 25 a resident of Ayweri village in Paibona sub-county, Gulu district delivered an ectopic pregnancy on the 28th of July 2023 at around 6;06pm after undergoing an operation conducted by a team of 15 experts including An aesthetician, medical doctors and midwives led by Dr Francis Pebalo Pebalo, an Obstetrician Gynecologists at Gulu University.
She delivered a bouncing baby girl with a weight of 2.6kg and was later named Miracle because of the condition in which mothers and babies usually don’t survive.
While addressing journalists today morning at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital Maternity Ward, Dr Francis Pebalo Pebolo, the obstetrician-gynaecologist, said she is the first woman with this condition in Northern Uganda to have safely delivered her baby.
According to Pebalo, Aciro survived by God’s grace because no woman can carry that pregnancy for month 38 weeks without causing internal damage because such pregnancies that grow outside the uterus can rupture the placenta due to the size of the baby which can cause internal bleeding hence leading to death of the mother and baby.
‘’ With this kind of rare condition, she was lucky to have conducted scans which revealed that the baby was safe in the omentum despite not being in the right place (Uterus), something that helped her survive.
And upon receiving her at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital all they needed to do was an operation to save her life and that of the baby since she was due for labour, said Pebalo.
Scovia Aciro, the mother thanked the doctors and the midwives for saving her life after going through a lot of pain while carrying the pregnancy.
According to Aciro, the trauma I have gone through in carrying this pregnancy in which the baby grows in the omentum and going through two operations has forced me to embrace family planning.
‘’ I thanked God for using the doctors to save me because I was told most women with such conditions have not survived together with babies, said Aciro.
Akumu Rose Olok, Midwife Gulu Regional Referral Hospital Maternity ward, said the Aciro ‘s condition was the first of its kind since she started working as a midwife in 2004.
According to Akumu, upon seeing her scan results, they knew it was a complicated condition that needed experts to handle her in order to save the baby and the mother’s life.
She said they were left worried because most expectant mothers with such conditions don’t survive together with their babies but after a long struggle experts did a miraculous job and delivered them.
Dr Biafra Arwinyo, the Head Department of Maternal and Child Health Gulu Regional Referral Hospital, has attributed this success to the hard work of their staff and the excellent facility government has put in place.
Speaking via phone, Dr Richard Mugahi, Assistant Commissioner of Infants and Maternal Health Ministry of Health said:
“Ectopic deliveries are becoming common unlike before. So far in 2023, Ministry of Health has recorded 3 cases, all mothers survived, two children survived, one died of heart complications”.
In the Mbarara case, the mother and child survived after the specialists from Mbarara University and Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital came together to handle the complicated surgery.
The second case it was a mother referred from Health Center III to Health Center IV in Bundibugyo district. The scan results at the Health Center IV showed the baby was outside the uterus.
“This mother tested our Referral system in the Rwenzori region, the Health Center IV referred the mother to Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital which was unsure about this pregnancy. Immediately they referred her to Mulago Specialized Women and Neonatal Hospital where a team was assembled to handle the complicated surgery”, said Dr Richard Mugahi.
He said the Gulu case is the third and appreciates the medical workers for responding quickly to save the mother and child.