Interview:

Last-minute rescue

What to do, when suddenly the life of a young mother and that of her unborn baby depend on you? And what to do, if this challenge does not occur in the orderly circumstances of Germany, but in a country, which is torn by poverty and disasters, offering only a deplorable infrastructure and poor medical support?

This kind of questions our coordinator Anaïs had to face in Haiti, when suddenly an expectant mother suffering from heavy pregnancy cramps entered the health care station supported by humedica in the small village Baradères and asked for help. The medical options of the health care station, which had its focus on the basic health care and provisioning of the local population were not sufficient for this emergency, so the immediate transport to a bigger hospital seemed unavoidable.

Anaïs tells us in the following interview, what happened next and what an unexpected ending that emergency had in store for our coordinator:

How did you react, when you realised that the patient needed immediate help?

The eight months pregnant woman, still a teenager of only 16 years, arrived at our health care station already suffering from high fever and violent cramping. After consulting the humedica headquarters in Germany, I decided together with the mother of the pregnant girl to bring her to the hospital in the town Miragoâne to provide her with the necessary medical treatment.

How did the transport to the hospital proceed?

It was quite an adventure. Due to hurricane „Matthew“ in October the infrastructure is still severely affected and therefore it takes a lot of time to get from one point to another. At first we had to take a boat, afterwards we carried the girl to a car, where she spent the whole way to the hospital on her mother´s and my knees. As she still was still cramping, she had to keep a piece of wood in her mouth to bite on it in order not to swallow her tongue.

How did you feel during the transport?

Naturally I was worrying whether we would reach the hospital in time, again and again I thought about what to do if we would get into a situation I was neither qualified for nor experienced enough to deal with. Especially during the boat tour I was very nervous. But luckily a nurse from our health care station was with us, which helped to reassure somewhat. Finally we reached the hospital just in time for our patient to be treated and to be assisted in giving birth to a healthy baby.

Thanks to the quick help from the humedica cooordinator Anaïs baby Pascal was born in good health. Photo: humedica

And then there happened something very special …

Yes, exactly. It was the mother´s wish that I chose the name for the baby, because I had helped her. Here in Haiti that is a custom, which is also known from Africa. I was very honoured and opted for Pascal, the name of my father.

A great ending. How are the mother and her child today?

Both are healthy and well. They could leave the hospital after only a few days and now stay for some time with their family in Carrefour. So everything went well.

Anaïs, thank you very much for your commitment and for talking to us!

humedica coordinator Anaïs and the young mother after the birth. Photo: humedica

Note: This individual assistance could be provided in the course of the emergency relief operation after the hurricane „Matthew“, organised by humedica and supported by the Foreign Office since October in the South West of Haiti. Besides the medical basic care and a nutrition programme for about 200 older people as well as children humedica was also able to distribute approximately 5.000 hygiene packages to people in need and thus helped to reduce significantly the risk of epidemics such as a cholera outbreak.

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