The cries of babies drowned the chatter of mothers at the prenatal ward of the Lagos hospital.
In one corner of the ward sat a mother with a glum, hopeless look in her eyes. Her babies- all three of them- were crying in unison as she busied herself with the task of preparing formula for them in a small baby bottle.
The tin of milk had only been bought the previous day and its content was already down.
Iyabo Tolase, 32, had been delivered of her triplets-all boys- a week earlier through caesarean section but with the cries of the babies came the dissipation of her joy.
Indeed, it has been an exciting time in the last two weeks at Alimosho General Hospital in Igando, Lagos, which witnessed a harvest of triplets.
But it has also been one fraught with worries by the struggling mothers. Their apprehensions have been further heightened by the current economic crisis in the country, which has markedly increased the rate of inflation.
‘I hope I won’t live in this hospital forever’Tolase has three other children and sells food at Iyana-Iba, a busy area of Lagos. Her husband and father of the children, Sola, 36, works at Ojo Local Government Area secretariat, where he earns N16,000 monthly.
She said after getting pregnant, she thought she was having a fourth child and never thought she would be having two more.
Tolase had been living in the hospital for three months and had no idea of when she would be able to leave. She had been discharged by the doctors four days earlier but as her unpaid medical bills still ran into N137,000, she had yet to be released to return home.
With the support of family members, Tolase has spent over N200,000 already on drugs, consumable goods and payment of N80,000 out of her medical bills.
Having been diagnosed with hepatitis B, Tolase said she was required to buy an N80,000 injection for each of her babies to prevent them from being infected.
Eventually, she bought two injections, which were shared among her triplets.
For her babies naming ceremony, which was held in the hospital ward, biscuits were shared among family members present as the triplets were named: Abdulmalik, Abdulbasit and Habibullah.