Our Story – Where We Began

Our story is small and heartbreaking, It started with a Helping Hand to a dying woman on labour pain.

Just like any other expectant mother Milly devoted part of her life to helping those who suffered from the deadly Ebola that plagued her homeland of  Northern Uganda. Her dedication to helping others affected by Ebola landed her on the cover of health workers of the year award. She was a young Langi nurse who’d given birth to a healthy baby boy. And after she was discharged from the hospital three days later, she went into convulsions.

She was taken to the hospital to seek care. But considering she was widely known to work closely with people infected with the Ebola virus, other health professionals were hesitant to help her. They were concerned that they would get infected, too. She was never cared for and people refused to treat her resulting in her death from a blood infection stemming from giving birth

The death of Milly could have been avoided and sadly that is what makes this story so heartbreaking. At 26, Milly was preparing for the birth of her second child, a boy she named Phillip. Leading up to her pregnancy, she had complications and was said to have a high-risk pregnancy. Decisions that lead to her maternal death were not carefully thought through.

After receiving an emergency C-section after her labor was induced due to retaining too much fluid, Milly’’s health under the care of a certified nurse midwife declined right before their eyes. Many mistakes were made during Milly’s last hours. One was her being allowed to eat under the watch of her midwife which was said to be a big mistake. The next and most fatal was during surgery when the staff attempted to put a breathing tube into Milly but could not because of a plate she had in her neck. A plate that was notated on her chart that doctors failed to read before operating on Milly. In the process of performing Milly’s surgery, an artery was cut leading to this young mother’s untimely demise.

FIDRA started a journey with a single aim of strengthening health service delivery focusing mostly on maternal and child health service delivery to ensure that No child or Mother dies while giving birth or after birth. We later discovered the empowerment, freedom, and opportunity that an empowered community can bring. Our roots created access to critical resources, increase income, and improve rural livelihoods. The model worked so well that we decided to apply the same model to more productive programs  to give women, youth and children more opportunities to invest in their futures.