22 May 2020- As the day dawns and the sun rises over the ramshackle rooftops of Dalxiska village in Kismayo district of the Lower Juba region of Somalia, the persistent cry of a new born baby pierces the quiet murmurings of a household nestled in the centre of the village. ‘Saum’ , the early morning meal that starts the fast during Ramadhan, is being cleared off the table and the household has woken up to news of a baby girl born in the wee hours of the morning.
Exhausted but relieved, the new mother Hafxo Abukar, sends her young niece to the SAF-UK MCH in Dalxiska village to fetch the local midwife.
Hafxo has seen it all.She has delivered her other three children at home. But this time, the experience is especially tough on her.
The midwife on duty is Habibo Hussein and she had done a few home visit PNC sessions with Hafxo in the previous months.
She arrives at the home with her special bag of health supplies slung over her shoulder; and her mask and gloves on. She practices keeping the recommended social distance with the other members of the family and sits down on a pillow next to the mother and child.
Midwife Habibo asks Hafxo about her delivery experience and is pleased that Hafxo did not have complications. She then tenderly cleans the baby girl while checking her. After which she administers the first round vaccination. She then weighs the baby and records in her official notebook for record keeping.
Habibo advises Hafxo on the best foods to eat in order to have enough milk to breastfeed her baby.
As Habibo is packing up to leave, Hafxo expresses her gratitude to the midwife.
“ I’m happy to have delivered a healthy baby girl. Allahamdulillah(Thanks be to God.)
Thanks to the PNC sessions we had at the health centre, I was ready to deliver safely at home. The traditional midwives that assisted me with my other pregnancies were expensive and did not show me the care that you have given me today. May God bless you and the SAF-UK team.”
Habibo reminds Hafxo not to forget her scheduled clinic visit and waves her goodbye.