An Unlikely Success Story: Baby Sarah's Birth

12/07/15

Sierra Leone is one of the most dangerous places in the world to give birth. One in every 50 women who becomes pregnant will die in childbirth. Her baby is even less likely to make it.
 

In rural Banta, where access to medical care is limited, the danger is even greater.
 
That’s why baby Sarah is such a miracle. Thanks to people like you, Sarah’s mother received critical care throughout her pregnancy and birth at Children of the Nations’ clinic in Banta. 
 
Sarah’s mom doesn’t live close, but every week that she could, she made the two-mile trek to COTN’s clinic for her prenatal class. There she would laugh along with the group of young mothers-to-be as they sang songs about general hygiene, preventing diarrhea, and staying healthy during their pregnancy.


Many of the mothers who come to the clinic can't read, so the nurses rely on songs to teach them about staying healthy. Here a young mother dances with a nurse as they sing a playful song about telling everyone who the baby's daddy is. It's a funny song, but a wise strategy for a woman who wants to ensure the father will continue to support them. 
 
COTN’s clinic in rural Banta might not look like much from the outside. Two small rooms, electricity only by the grace of a loud and sometimes unreliable generator, and no running water. Yet in those small rooms, dozens of healthy babies have been born, dozens of malnourished children have come back from close to death, and countless kids have recovered from malaria.

But no less importantly, the nurses at the clinic know when a case is beyond their ability to treat. Agnes Jombla, COTN’s head nurse, affectionately known as Mommy Jombla, grew serious as Sarah’s mom came in for her checkup. “She is too small, too young,” she pronounced. “I’m worried about her.”


Agnes Jombla, COTN's head nurse, at the clinic entrance. She saves lives both by caring for the people that arrive and by referring more serious cases to a nearby hospital.


                                                              Sarah's mom at her checkup.
 
Without Mommy Jombla’s wise referral, and the COTN clinic, Sarah could have been born on a dirt floor in the village. When her mother cried out in pain, and if she couldn’t successfully deliver her baby, no one would have been there to help.
 
But instead, when the time came for Sarah to be born, Mommy Jombla referred her mother to the nearest hospital. Sarah was only five pounds when she came out, but she and her mother had the care they needed to survive.

 
 
Through the care and advice of the clinic staff, Sarah has grown into a healthy toddler, with a glint in her eye and a smile that could melt your heart. Our staff are making plans to enroll her in COTN’s preschool next year. 


 
Who knows if this beautiful child would be here today if it weren’t for gifts—and hearts—like yours. 

Give a gift that could save a life this Christmas: the gift of one medical checkup could make the difference for a baby like Sarah, and will support the ongoing work in COTN's clinics in Africa and the Dominican Republic.