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I can barely afford to eat, let alone breastfeed my babies –Lagos mum delivered of triplets

Afusat Salami, a 35-year-old nursing mother who just gave birth to triplets in the Agboyi-Ketu area of Lagos, speaks to AFEEZ HANAFI on how the family’s poor status is taking its toll on the babies’ upkeep

How many children do you have?

I have five children. My first child is 10 years old while her sister is six. I gave birth to the triplets on September 21, 2020.

What work do you do?

I used to sell confectionery in a private school. The school stopped me from displaying my wares and employed me as a cleaner. I was paid N15,000 as salary, which I used to support my husband to take care of our children. Then schools were closed because of coronavirus. By the time schools reopened, I had already given birth to my triplets.

What is your husband’s job?

He is a ‘vulcaniser’ (lube technician) at Ikoyi.

How has the family been coping since the arrival of the triplets?

It has been very tough. My first two children have stopped going to school because we could not pay their school fees. Our eldest child is supposed to start secondary education now while her sister is in primary two. Some government officials from the Lagos State Ministry of Youths and Social Development came two weeks ago. They said they saw a video showing how I was using them to raise money. I told them the video was shot by some people who visited us and saw our poor condition. Our house is flooded whenever it rains and there are lots of mosquitoes here. Those people also saw me giving the babies water and asked why I didn’t give them baby food. I told them their food had finished and I didn’t have money to buy another one for them. That was why they videoed us. I don’t even have enough food to eat to be able to breastfeed them.

The officials said they would arrest me if they see another video of the triplets. I told them the hardship the family is going through is much and that we need help but they could not render any assistance.

How would you describe your experience during the pregnancy?

I didn’t know on time that I was pregnant. I did a scan and it came out positive. My husband wanted me to abort the pregnancy because we are poor but I refused. He had a child before we got married. So he was worried about how he would take care of more than three children. He said he didn’t want another child for now. I started having issues from the moment the pregnancy was three months old. Whenever I did anything stressful, I would bleed. I went to the hospital and they prescribed some drugs for me. I bought N10,000 worth of drugs every month. I stopped taking the drugs after three months because I could no longer afford them. I later went to Ikorodu General Hospital for antenatal care. There were times that my husband and I would be broke and I would need to go for antenatal classes. It was a friend of mine, a nurse, who used to give me money.

Did you know you were carrying triplets?

No, I didn’t know. I did a scan and was told that I was carrying a set of twins. When the pregnancy was seven months old, I was admitted to Ikorodu General Hospital for three weeks. I was admitted again when the pregnancy was 34 weeks old. That was when I was told I was pregnant with triplets. My triplets were born by CS (caesarean section). My husband borrowed N120,000 to pay the hospital bill and he has not paid back the money.

Bibiyobra: Sunday, 8 November 2020 at 11/08/2020 02:11:00 pm


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