Soon after the YWAM Medical Ship was welcomed to the village of Miruwo, volunteers were summoned to the home of expecting mama, Bokoro.
She had been in the early stages of labour since the night before when pains started while she was harvesting sago away from home.
Volunteer Midwife, Faye, performed Bokoro’s first and last antenatal check and was pleased to find a healthy mama and a seemingly healthy baby. Bokoro’s eyes lit up as she heard the baby’s strong heartbeat for the first time through the fetal doppler.
Bokoro’s sisters arrived who would be assisting in her delivery and Faye taught them how to use a clean birth kit containing simple resources such as hand soap, sterile gloves, a plastic sheet to birth on, string for tying the umbilical cord, a clean blade to cut it with, and gauze to wipe the baby’s eyes and stump (the cord after it is cut).
Since Bokoro’s contractions were still very irregular and the baby was not yet fully engaged, Faye left Bokoro in their care knowing that the baby could come later that day or in several days time.
Just after lunch someone came to the church hall where the YWAM clinic was set up to say that the baby had been born but they needed help getting the “baby’s home” (placenta) out.
When YWAM Medical Ship volunteers arrived on the scene, Bokoro was in third stage labour. She lay in a makeshift shelter set up behind their family home. In the midst of ankle-deep mud she sat on a small board with a tarp partially covering her head from the rain. She had begun to birth the placenta but part of it remained inside.
Doctor Angharad successfully removed the remaining part of the placenta before Bokoro began haemorrhaging, while another volunteer found donated blankets to warm the mother and child and a large banana leaf to shelter the baby from the rain.
“My initial reaction was shock when we got there,” said Clinic Leader Jennifer. “My heart went out to her and I wanted to do anything I could to make her comfortable. I was just so glad we could be there to provide any assistance and that the outcome was so positive.”
Everyone was happy to see a healthy mama, and a healthy little girl born who was named Baro Kekua.
Volunteers then lifted Bokoro into her home, helping to make her as comfortable as possible near the small fire, and leaving her to nurse and rest.
Later that afternoon, midwife Faye returned to do a well baby check and postnatal exam.
Despite the meager birthing conditions, everyone was pleased to see that Baro was a healthy 2.75 kilograms and had a strong heartbeat and vigorous suck reflex. Faye administered crucial immunisations, including Hepatitis B and OPV/Polio, and volunteers left excited to have helped welcome another precious baby into the world.