By Kevin Tunoi
The women bypass equipped hospitals in Eldoret town as they head to Huruma Estate to meet a midwife who delivers their babies. Their choice is not because they can’t afford the hospital fee, but a 70-year-old woman has given them confidence that she can handle them ‘professionally’ if not better than qualified personnel.
A mother of nine and resident of King’ong’o, Mary Keremei, has brought forth many babies including three of her own grandchildren.
In her one-roomed ‘clinic’, we find Keremei attending to a woman lying on her back on a rickety bed the mid-wife gently massages her bulging belly.
“This woman is due any time but the baby’s positioning in the womb is not right that is why I am trying to reposition it,” she says, professionally.
As she rubs the distended tummy to get the baby into the proper position, Keremei use a stethoscope to check the baby’s heartbeat.
Like a doctor, she places the stethoscope on the mother’s belly and listens to the heartbeat. Squinting her eyes as though struggling to focus or listen to a distant sound Gogo Dawa, as her patients fondly call her, nods and informs her patient that the baby is okay.
The popular midwife says her expertise was passed down to her from her mother and has since perfected the skill.
“I used to watch my mother help deliver babies and it was easy for me to pick the trade after she passed on,” says Gogo, her eyes on her patient.
This patient is the third one she is attending to today, having successfully helped two mothers deliver earlier in the day. She usually handles three or more patients daily. She charges them Sh500 per delivery.