It was a cold, rainy, early morning. The rain had started late that night and the downpour was torrential. I had been awake through it all studying for an exam and was about to get some sleep.
Just as my head hit the pillow, an ambulance siren tore into the night and grew louder and louder. I turned in the bed hoping for it to be something else. I was the physician on call and it had been largely uneventful so far at the hospital where I was working in southern Nigeria. I got out of bed.
It was a case of a 19-year-old who was rushed in to hospital because she had had severe weakness, dizziness and fainting spells for three days. She told me she hadn’t had her period for three months and had had an attempted abortion. She was too afraid to tell her parents about her pregnancy – they were prominent churchgoers and held in high regard in the community.
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