Arrival in this world under difficult conditions

by Katja Völkl/RBU,  2012/03/20

Often joy and sorrow, life and death lie very close together. This is also the case in Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo. While on the one hand the inhabitants are mourning for several hundreds of explosion victims, and many people are still being treated at hospitals suffering from burns or amputations, on the other hand a newborn child arrived in this world just in the room next door. Dr. Annette Frick of the humedica team played an important role during the birth:

Annette Frick presents the newborn baby boy to his mother. Photo: humedica/Katja Völkl

We were treating the victims of the explosion in Makalekele. I was assisting the local staff with anaesthetics, when a pregnant woman was taken into the room next door. Apparently there were some kinds of complications. Since the hospital does not dispose of an ultrasound device, it was impossible to make a clear diagnosis. Therefore, we had to make a caesarean section. I put the mother under partial anaesthesia, so that she would be able to see her child immediately.

But here too, we encountered complications. The infant had some starting difficulties with its new life. At first it did not breathe and we could find no heartbeat. “It was all limp and grey”, the experienced anaesthetist from Tübingen continues her report.

We applied resuscitation measures and artificial respiration for about 15 minutes. And then, finally, it started breathing. In the beginning it only mewled pitifully, but then it announced that it was alive with a hearty scream.

The humedica doctor team has travelled to Congo not only to help saving already existing life, but also to help new life on the way – and they do so under difficult conditions. Also Annette Frick reports that it was a very special feeling to assist a birth under such difficult circumstances.

This was a completely new experience also for me. Here, we do not dispose of the appropriate equipment, like we do in Germany. The child was simply put onto a cold metal table. And this was where we were still fighting for the child’s life. However, in the end, the infant did not suffer any damage. We visited him at hospital the next day, and he was well. The entire humedica team was highly pleased about that.

The mother will probably never forget the birth of her baby son. Also Dr. Frick and the humedica team in Brazzaville will always remember this event. And maybe the little Congolese boy will come to receive a special souvenir, as his parents are thinking about naming their newborn son “Frick”.

Please continue to support our relief measures in Congo by means of your donations. You can support us by means of sending a text message (reference DOC to +49 8 11 90), or you can choose the conventional way and transfer your donation to the account below.

      humedica e. V.
      Donation reference “Disaster Congo
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren
      IBAN: DE35734500000000004747

Thank you very much!

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