In Pictures: A Visit to Baga Sola Hospital
Fighting The Reproductive Health Crisis In Chad
In Chad’s Lake Region, International Medical Corps runs several health centres and mobile clinics as well as the District Hospital in Baga Sola (pictured). Aside from medical care, we also provide the facilities with equipment, drugs and human resources support.
This way, while our staff provides primary and secondary healthcare services they also focus their efforts on more long-term capacity building. This work would not be possible without generous funding form the European Union (ECHO).
International Medical Corps works with thousands of committed healthcare professionals. Originally from Ethiopia, Dr Hailemariam Tafesse Mengsha (pictured here centre alongside colleagues) has assisted communities in need since 2004.
Previously providing care in countries such as Sudan (Darfur), Sierra Leone and South Sudan, Dr Mengsha now supports the District Hospital in Baga Sola, Chad. On call 24 hours a day, he is in charge of caesareans and other emergency surgeries while also training hospital staff.
Dr Mengsha together with his patient Fatima (lying down) and Fatima’s mother.
Fatima gave birth to a healthy baby boy just two days before this picture was taken. With one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, many women risk perilous deliveries in Chad.
Fatima and her mother Khadidja with the latest addition to the family.
While Fatima is resting, Khadidja tells our team that this is Fatima’s first child. I have a lot of experience with children, Khadidja, a mother of 7 and grandmother of 6, adds laughing, so I can help with the boy.
The baby boy was delivered through caesarean. Familiar only with natural births, the young mother was at first hesitant, but Dr Mengsha and the midwife, convinced Fatima that a caesarean was the safest option for her and her son.
A midwife at the hospital explained to our team about the importance of communicating when a caesarean is needed to save the life or mother and baby and how convincing the patient can sometimes take several hours.
Our team asked Fatima how she was feeling after the surgery. ‘Sometimes my scar hurts but I feel fine’, she told us. ‘I’m thankful my baby is okay’.
‘We haven’t named him yet, we are waiting for the husband’, Khadidja (pictured), Fatima’s mother, says. ‘According to tradition’, she adds, ‘you wait for a week until you name the baby’.
Pictured: 16-year old Zeneba’s mother holds her grandson while her daughter recovers after a caesarean at the Baga Sola District Hospital in Chad.
Over 800 women die each day from preventable causes relating to pregnancy and childbirth. Young adolescents face a higher risk of complications and death because of pregnancy than other women do and almost all preventable deaths take place in developing countries.
A newborn baby, safely delivered by Dr Mengsha.
Millions of babies die each year before turning one month old. One million die on the same day they were born. The deaths are an ongoing, silent tragedy and most of them entirely preventable.
At International Medical Corps, we believe that bringing life into this world should be a safe and joyous occasion, no matter where this takes place.