During a recent village trip to Lake Tanganyika, Zambia, the medical team were asked to assess the headman's wife who had been in labour for 3 days. Along with Local Birth Attendants, they tried to help her give birth but she was struggling too much.
In the middle of the night the decision was made that she couldn't continue anymore and she should be taken to Mpulungu using our partner's boat, reducing the journey to an hour instead of three by public boat. The doctor on duty was already at the clinic attending to another emergency but on seeing the woman, he referred her immediately to a larger hospital 45 minutes away.
An ambulance transported her safely to the hospital where a C section was performed. A healthy baby boy was born; both mother and child survived and are doing well.
The headman's eldest daughter had also just given birth to twins the day before the team reached the village. Cultural beliefs meant that the community expected the wife not to be able to deliver a live baby because her daughter had just given birth.
It is clear that the medical team arrived at the right time in order to help save the mother and boy's life. For women and children in the 1000 day window this medical service can mean the difference between life and death.
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