Chima’s Story

I am a young newly married man and I live in Lagos with my wife, although we are originally from South East Nigeria. We were overjoyed when my wife became pregnant with our first child and when the date for her to deliver the baby drew near, I took her to my home village in Eastern Nigeria so that she could be supported by my mother and other family members at her time of her delivery and in the early weeks of our baby’s life. Up until this time my wife had not had any form of mental illness.

On the day our child was born we were so excited when she delivered a baby boy. Unfortunately, what was supposed to be a joyful time in the life of our family turned to sorrow because my wife could not care for her baby. In fact, worryingly, she attempted to harm our new baby. Luckily the baby was rescued from her by some family members and cared for by them.

My mother took my wife to the prayer house because we suspected that she was having a spiritual problem like "Ogbanje" or "Ukeh" (Some people believe that Obanje and Uke are types of spiritual problems that affect some women). She stayed in the prayer house for about two days. When she returned the problem became worse, she became more distressed and still could not care for her new-born child.

It was not long before she abandoned the baby altogether and wandered away from home. She lived rough on the streets for about one week before Amaudo workers found her during one their routine programmes of picking people off the streets who are mentally ill and homeless. They took her to Amaudo where her mental health was properly assessed, and she was placed on some medications and received other support.

After one week she slowly began to recover, and she remembered that she had delivered a baby but she felt really worried about going home. During a review session with the psychiatrist and other staff she was able to give her father's mobile phone number to the staff and behold when the line was called the man who answered the call was truly her father! Her father visited her at Amaudo and narrated the story about how the entire family had been looking for her everywhere and had even reported to the Police that she was missing.

When my father-in-law informed me that she was at Amaudo I did not know about Amaudo or where it was located. When I finally arrived at Amaudo and saw my wife I could not believe that she was alive. I had spent so long travelling the streets and the bush searching for her. It was a warm reunion with tears of joy. It was not too long before I was able to bring her home to our baby son and because she is mentally stable, she is now able to care for him.

Amaudo saved my wife and my new-born child. Amaudo saved me from accusations and suspicion. I promise take care of my wife because I now understand that my wife is not experiencing ‘Ogbanje’. Truly Amaudo changed the life of my family.

(Many women across the world experience postpartum psychosis. In Nigeria because of a lack of information many husbands and family members regard it as "ogbanje" or "ukeh" and as a result some women are abused, abandoned or divorced).

You can donate to Amaudo here