- WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
- Monique Koumate went to hospital in Cameroon with labour complications
- But she was left outside for hours because she couldn’t afford treatment
- Mrs Koumate, 31, died and her niece reportedly tried to deliver her twins
- One of the babies was delivered dead and the other died moments later
This video captures the distressing moment a pregnant woman and her newborn children died on the steps of a hospital because she was too poor to pay for treatment.
Monique Koumate, 31, who was pregnant with twins, was taken by her partner to the Hopital la Quintinie in the Cameroonian city of Douala, after suffering complications when she went into labour.
Despite needing urgent care, Mrs Koumate was left outside the maternity unit for several hours because she could not afford to pay for her medical bills.
Her distraught niece reportedly pleaded with doctors to deliver the babies, who could be felt still moving around in the womb. She offered to find away to pay later.
However medics are understood to have refused, and the niece took it upon herself to try and save the twins‘ lives.
The woman reportedly bought a blade from a nearby shop and performed an improvised Cesarean section, cutting open her aunt’s womb.
But one of the twins was delivered dead and the second died moments after birth.
A short video taken of the distressing scene shows a woman, believed to be the niece, placing the babies‘ bodies on that of her aunt as bystanders wail with grief.
Tragic: Monique Koumate, 31, reportedly died outside hospital because she was too poor to pay for treatment
The tragedy sparked protests across the city on Sunday, with demonstrators carrying signs reading: ‚Never forget Monique Koumateke‘.
Cameroon has a severe shortage of medical professionals, with roughly one doctor for every 5,000 people. It means health treatments are often provided by nurses.
Some 6 per cent of government spending goes to public healthcare. As a means of improving the availability of services, a fee-based system was introduced.
However some experts blame this system for the deaths of those too poor to pay for treatment.