JOHANNESBURG-(MaraviPost)-A 37-year-old Malawian woman, Ona Banda, has lost her life in a South African hospital days after she gave birth to triplet girls.
Her husband, Daniel Issah Phiri, has confirmed that she died on Monday, 11th January, after she developed complications.
Banda gave birth to the triplets at Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, Johannesburg.
The triplets bring the couples’ number of children to six.
“She delivered normally without any complications on Sunday, 7th January. The following morning she was discharged. She was going to the hospital on a daily basis to nurse the babies as one of them had not yet reached the required weight and needed to still be in hospital,” narrated Phiri.
Banda is said to have complained of chest pains a few days later and was escorted to the hospital by her husband.
“I decided not to go to work and escort her. After she had finished nursing the babies we went in to see the doctor to have her checked but because time had passed it was now around 8 in the evening I bid her good bye, saying I would see her in the morning,” said Phiri.
That was the last time Phiri would speak to his wife. He told a local radio when he came back the following morning he found his wife admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.
“Her condition had deteriorated. I was in total shock. I asked the doctor what happened for her to reach that state; he said she had suffered brain damage and therefore needed to be put on life support,” explained the grieving husband.
Sadly, Banda lost her life a few days later in the maternity wing where she was moved to. The husband is since appealing to well-wishers to help with funds to bring the body to Malawi.
To repatriate a body from Johannesburg to Lilongwe would cost about R14, 000 (equivalent to about K800, 000).
“What I need right now is just funds to bring home my wife’s body. Yes I do work but what I earn is so little to cover for the expenses. I have huge responsibility on me to take care of the triplets as well,” said Phiri.
In Malawi, the couple lives in Ndirande Mpembu, Blantyre, but they come from Liwonde township.
The couple’s three other children are being taking care of by the deceased’s old mother, who is a stroke survivor.
Phiri says he plans to bring the triplets back home and let them in the care of the same old woman.
Some women on social media who are mobilizing funds to help Phiri feel the children are better off in South Africa.
One woman wrote: “Better option is for the kids to stay there, I think social services can help to link them up with well-wishers. Then we can make contributions just to help the children.”
Another lady suggests Banda be buried in SA to minimize costs for the family.
“The body should be buried there in SA and the relations should just go there for the ceremony; it would cheaper that way,” she said.
In the Malawian culture the dead are normally buried in their home district, or least in an area where they have resided for a long time.