BY ROBERT EDWOMU
SOROTI: SUNDAY, AUGUST 29, 2021
For 20 years that Jessica Apio has been bearing children, she has never attended antenatal care or taken her children for immunization.
The 37-year-old mother of eight children, a resident of Achuna village, Achuna sub-county in Soroti district conceived her first child when she was 17 years of age but she relied on her mother for assistance during delivery.
She said this was because her area lacked a health facility and the man who impregnated her denied responsibility.
Since that encounter, Apio has gone on to produce seven more children, all of them with different fathers none of whom has cared about antenatal or postnatal healthcare.
“None of my children has ever gotten an injection or a drop of vaccine but they are healthy,” she says.
Access to maternal healthcare is a challenge for women in Achuna where the nearest health facility is Orungo Health Center III, a 7km walk, in neighbouring Amuria district.
For Apio the problem was compounded by the fact that all the eight fathers of her children disowned them.
This left her struggling to feed and raise them single handedly.
She said as a result, she has decided to get a family planning service that can prevent her from bearing children for the next ten years, taking her closer to 48 years, the age at which most average women naturally stop bearing children.
But being unable to provide basic needs, Apio is asking for help from well-wishers to support her to at least educate her children.